Bhaktapur is an ancient city in the east of Nepal popular for its rich cultural and architectural heritage and ancient temples. It is located about 12 kilometres (7.5 miles) east of Kathmandu and is the destination for its traditional arts and crafts, such as wood carving, pottery, and weaving, which are still practised by local artisans.
Highlights on Temples of Bhaktapur
- The ancient city of Bhaktapur is the destination for some of the most beautiful and historic temples in Nepal.
- Bhaktapur’s temples are known for their intricate carvings, paintings, and architectural styles, which reflect the city’s rich cultural and religious values.
- Some of the must-see temples in Bhaktapur include the Nyatapola Temple, the Bhairava Nath Temple, and the Dattatreya Temple. These temples are revered for their spiritual significance and are visited by devotees from all over Nepal.
- Visitors to Bhaktapur can also explore the Bhaktapur Durbar Square, a royal palace complex that features a number of stunning temples, shrines, and courtyards.
- In addition to their religious and cultural significance, the temples of Bhaktapur carry the history and traditions of Nepal carved into the walls.
One of the main attractions in Bhaktapur is Durbar Square, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The square is the place for several important temples and palaces, including the Nyatapola Temple, Dattatreya Temple, and Vatsala Temple. Moreover, the court is also known for its beautiful architecture and stone carvings and is a popular spot for tourists to take photos and learn about the city’s history.
In addition to it, its cultural attractions, Bhaktapur is also known for its flavoursome food and shopping. The city has several local markets selling traditional handicrafts and souvenirs, and a variety of local and international foods.
Some of the temples of Bhaktapur include:
This five-tiered temple is the tallest one in Nepal dedicated to the goddess Siddhi Lakshmi. It is located in the centre of Bhaktapur standing with its beautiful architecture and stone carvings. Nyatapola divided Bhaktapur into the upper and lower parts as Thané and Konhé respectively sustained themselves throughout the four major earthquakes and their aftershocks. Since the temples of Bhaktapur is not accessible to the public, the Avala group of people performs a ritual to the deity every July. However, the name of the deity inside the temple is also kept a secret.
Dattatreya is the avatar of three powerful gods in the Hindu religion Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. This temple was built in 1427BS with a single timber as Kasthmandap in the valley. Dattatreya lying in the centre of Bhaktapur has intricate wood carvings, beautiful brass bells and stone turtles engraved in pillars. The temple was built in the Malla regime aligning with the mandapa architecture.
Changu Narayan Temple:
This temple is located on a hilltop to the east of Bhaktapur and is dedicated to the Hindu god Vishnu. It is one of the oldest temples in Nepal and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The temple is named after the Kashmiri king’s daughter Champak married the prince in the small village of Changu. Besides that, the temple consists of a list of monuments such as a historical pillar from 464 BS, Garuda, Chanda Narayan, Sridhar Vishnu, Vaikuntha VishnuA, Chhinnamasta, and Vishworup.
Vatsala temple is dedicated to the goddess Durga established in 1696. The temple is built in Shikhara-style architecture with beautiful stone carvings and brass artwork. It is located in the centre of Bhaktapur. A bell in the temple is dedicated to the Goddess Annapurna made in the early-mid 18th century. Along with it, the temple was rebuilt after the earthquake of 2015.
Siddha Pokhari Temple:
This temple is located in the centre of Bhaktapur and is known for its beautiful pond called Pokhari in Nepali. Every year Ashwin Krishna Dwithiya fair takes place. Locals feed the fish in the pond and dipped themselves worshipping goddess Indrayani. King Yakshya Malla built Sidha Pokhari in the 15th century which is also called as Ta-Pukhu.
In addition to these temples, Bhaktapur Durbar Square also includes several palaces, including the 55 Window Palace and the Golden Gate, which are known for their ornate architecture and intricate wood carvings. Furthermore, the square is also the place for the National Art Gallery, which displays traditional Nepali art and crafts.
FAQs about the temples of Bhaktapur:
What are the major temples in Bhaktapur?
Some of the major temples in Bhaktapur include the Nyatapola Temple, Dattatreya Temple, Changu Narayan Temple, and Vatsala Temple. In addition to it, these temples are known for their beautiful architecture, intricate stone and wood carvings, and cultural significance too.
Are there any admission fees for visiting the temples in Bhaktapur?
There may be admission fees for visiting some of the temples in Bhaktapur. The fees may vary depending on the temple and the length of the visit. It is a good idea to check with the temple authorities or your local guide for information on admission fees and any other rules or regulations that may apply.
Are there any dress code requirements for visiting the temples in Bhaktapur?
It is generally expected that visitors to the temples in Bhaktapur will dress modestly and respect local customs and traditions. This usually means wearing clothes that cover the shoulders and knees and removing shoes before entering the temple. However, it is a good idea to check with the temple authorities or your local guide for specific dress code requirements.
Are there any guided tours available for visiting the temples in Bhaktapur?
Yes, there are guided tours available for visiting the temples in Bhaktapur. These tours can be a convenient and informative way to learn about the history and significance of the temples, as well as the local culture and traditions. It is a good idea to book a tour in advance, either through a local tour company or your hotel.
Which of these world heritages of Nepal attracts you the most? Please feel free to write a short note on this via comments. Thank you.