Patan is a city of 1,000 golden rooftops. The former royal city is situated in the 30 kilometre long Kathmandu Valley, Nepal’s national treasure. It is located to the south of Kathmandu and its official name is Lalitpur, ‘The Beautiful City’.
Around 160,000 people live in what is almost tantamount to an open-air museum that transfers all who travel there to another world. It is dominated by more than 150 former monasteries that have since been transformed into family homes.
Legend has it that the main image of worship, Shiva Linga, within the Jambukesvara Temple, was the point around which the city was built. The upper floors of the temple are more narrow and slender than is customary. They look like a delicate adornment of the roof rather than the more usual tapering tower structure.
Due to its splendid carvings, the Vishveshvara Temple is well treasured among the other pagoda temples in Durbar Square. In 1990 it collapsed during a monsoon but has since been completely restored along with its countless ornate wood carvings.
The Bala Gopala Temple is considered to be one of the most beautiful examples of Malla architecture. It is thought to be a replica of a sanctuary in the Indian Mathura. Here, the god Krishna spent his youth as a herdsman, thus the name of the temple contains the words Bala and Gopala that mean ‘Child’ and ‘Herdsman’.
Patan is the second largest and oldest city in Kathmandu Valley, the heart of the country’s traditional arts and crafts and a truly atmospheric gem of evocative architecture.