Bhaktapur, also known as 'the city of the pious' is the third of the ancient royal cities in the thirty kilometer long Kathmandu Valley in the Kingdom ofNepal and also a Unesco World Heritage Sight.
On both sides of Durbar Square are many precious art treasures but the city is also fully-functional and a 'car free' open air museum! The medieval city derived from a fortress complex and was later transformed into a palace area. At the western end of Durbar Square is Dvarikanath Mandir, a replica of the Pashupatinath Temple in Kathmandu.
Today, a huge pair of lions flank the entrance to the National Art Gallery and there are images of Hanuman and Narasimha.
Vatsala Durga Mandir is a temple with a square, three-tiered base. This sacred building has a corridor set around a central Shikhara tower and its stairway is flanked by elephants and two fantastic horses.
The number of the city's small temples, shrines and dwellings of the gods is many and complex and they can be found at each crossroads and in every courtyard and doorway.
Bhaktapur has also been immortalized in the movie, Little Buddha.
For those interested in culture, the Kingdom of Nepal is a dream destination and Bhaktapur is a truly atmospheric journey into a rich and golden past.