Bhaktapur Durbar Square and the Medieval Town
Enter through a massive royal gate into a complex of palaces, shrines and resthouses. On the left are a pair of statues in stone. The king, legend says, was so pleased with the first that he ordered the sculptor's right hand cut off so that he could create no more works so fine. The sculptor than did the second sculpture with his left hand, which was also removed. Legend says that somewhere is a third sculpture of equal merit, carved by the scukptor using only his toes.
Then there is the Rameshwor Temple, and in the middle of the square the gilded statue of King Bhupatindra Malla seated on a tall stone pillar faces the most exquistitely artistic Sun Dhoka, or the golden gate, leading into the royal palace. The place is also called the "palace of 55 windows" - for the wing adjacent to the gate.
The square is replete with pillars and pavilions: Chyasalin Mandap, Duga Temple, Taduchhen Bahal, Batsala Durga, Pashupati Temple, Taumadhi Tole and others. In an adjacent square, is the famed 30-meter (98 feet) Nyatapola Temple, the tallest and most multi-roofed edifice in Nepal. To its right is the Kashi Bishwanath Temple. On the side of the square is the Nyatapola Cafe, and beyond it is the community of the famous potters.
Bhaktapur is not a recreation of a medieval town: It's a real one. Development passed Bhaktapur by when, in the late 1700s, Kathmandu became the capital. In the early 1980s monuments in the old city were restored and strict development rules were applied to maintain the traditional character. It's a gem of world heritage today, and a trip back in time.
The Magnificent Seven - The World Heritage Sites of the Kathmandu Valley
The Valley of Kathmandu is fertile, flat and compact. It is situated at the altitude of between 1,200 to 1,500 meters (between 4,000 to 5,000 feet).
The valley is also small, with an area of only 220 square miles (570 square kilometers). Yet in its smallness, there are record seven World Heritage Sites declared by the UNESCO - a fact unrivalled anywhere in the world! The seven man-made wonders are the milestones of Nepal's past and a living museum of high culture.
Unesco World Heritage Sites in Kathmandu