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Patan Durbar Square

Patan is regarded as the oldest city of the three famous cities in the Kathmandu Valley i.e., Kathmandu, Bhaktapur, and Patan. Patan has many names since ancient times like Upgram, Maningla, Lalitpur, Yal, Lalit Patton and so on. It is said that this city was founded by Bardev. Patan Durbar Square, which is located in the middle of Patan, is considered to be the main attraction of Lalitpur. The area within durbar square has been decorated with ancient and rich art and architecture, which reflect the Newari culture. This durbar square was not only part of the royal family, but also the main part of Tintaka’s administration.

Patan Durbar Square is listed in the UNESCO World Heritage Site, which adds more charm to this palace. The entire durbar square shows the Newar arts and architecture. Red bricks are used in tiling the square floor. The areas around this palace are surrounded by ancient temples and idols. The main temples are located on the opposite of the palace’s western face. This palace is also the residential area of the Newari people. Many temples and statues around here are built by news people, too. Patan Durbar Square is the centre for both Buddhism and Hinduism, which has 136 courtyards and 55 temples.

Origin of Patan Durbar Square

There is no clear history as to when the Durbar Square area was developed. However, it is believed to have been built about four centuries ago during the Mallaka period. Besides this, it is also believed that Laxmi Kamdev found this square in around 1024-1040 AD. Likewise, it is mentioned in the history that Siddhinar Singh Malla, who was the king of Patan in around BS 1675, did a lot of reform in this region. He expanded the Maningal Palace and adorned it with arts and cultural heritage. He also built temples like Taleju Bhavani, Degut and others.

Courtyards around Patan Durbar Square

There are three main courtyards/chowks in Patan Durbar. They are Keshav Narayan Chowk, Mul Chowk and Sundari Chowk. Keshav Narayan Chowk is the oldest chowk. No one knows who built this area and is not found anywhere. However, it was renovated around 1731 during the reign of King Srinivas Malla. During the reign of Mallaka period, there were seven different chowks: Nhuche, Agan, Kisi, Sahapu, Nhasal, Dafoswan, and Kumari.


The construction of the popular Manimandapam in this area was done by Yoganrendra Malla in BS 1758. He is still considered to be living king. The window on the west side of the upper floor’s room of this palace is always left open and a bedroom of this room is kept ready for him. There is a statue of him on the front of the palace where a bird is designed on his head. There is a myth that when he was about to die, he said that he would consider himself as alive until and unless the man-made bird would fly away.

Touristy Places around Patan Durbar Square

  1. Patan Museum

Patan museum is regarded as one of the most popular and perfect museums in Asia. This museum is located inside the durbar palace and houses the bronze statues and ancient religious objects.

  1. Hiranya Varna Mahavihar

It is also known as the Golden Temple, which is inside Kwabadehul. It is believed that this temple was built around the 12th century by King Bhaskar Verma. It is built in the pagoda style and has three stories. In the upper story, there is the golden image of Lord Buddha and a wheel prayer.

  1. Golden Window

This window was built by King Siddhi Narasingha Malla. He used to respect all gods and goddesses and religions. He was a great devotee of Lord Krishna as well as Lord Buddha.

  1. Mahaboudha Temple

This temple is built in the Hindu Shikhara style, which has 5 golden pinnacles in total. They represent the five basic elements and are in stupa shaped style.

  1. Golden Temple

This temple was built around the 12th century and is devoted to Lord Buddha. It is famous for its gleaming gold works.

  1. Krishna Temple

Krishna Temple is one of the famous places of Patan Durbar Square. It was built in the 17th century and has 21 shrines. It is made up of stone. This temple is fully dedicated to Lord Krishna and most of the scenes from the ancient Ramayana and the Mahabharata, have been carved on its friezes.

However, the Patan Durbar Square, which has made a name for itself since the 16th century, has been encroached upon for generations. Local traders are still reluctant to leave the area and are creating too much crowd. This has affected the reconstruction of the palace area and has also ruined the beauty of the palace area. The regulatory body must pay attention to this. Let’s hope that the palace will come to its original beauty soon.

-By: Kusum Kharel for Land Nepal

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