Patan, generally known as Lalitpur and historically known as Manigal is the third largest city of Nepal. It is located at the south-central part of Kathmandu Valley. As it had been the kingdom of Newars’, it is popular as “Yala” among them. Patan is the city with the perfect blend of art and culture. Because of its stunning art and interesting culture, it is able to represent the nation all around the world.
Talking about art, it is one of the finest city of ancient art. Patan has the large verity of art and crafts. Metallic idols, stone carving, wood carving, thanka paintings, sand mandalas, etc. are some of the highlighted sector of art and crafts in the city. According to the recent data, there are 55 major temples and 136 monasteries in the city. Patan was once used to be the kingdom of Malla dynasty and that time is also known as the golden age of art and craft of the city as most of the famous ancient temples were built during the period. The famous temple Krishna Mandir at Patan Durbar Square, stands as the evidence of it. Malla dynasty had the good relation with Tebet and the handicraft market in these days reflects it too. The Patan Durbar Square, Maha Bouddha, Sundhara, Ashoka stupas at four directions (Lagan Thura – Southern Stupa, Teta Thura – Eastern Stupa, Pucho Thura – Western Stupa, Ibahi Thura – Northern Stupa), Banglamukhi are some of the stunning sites at Patan with some mind-blowing pieces of ancient art. Among these the Patan Durbar Square is the must to visit. It used to be the palace of the Malla rulers and used to be the capital of Patan. This place is the center of attraction in the city and also declared as the world heritage site by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The detailed work done on the temples, idols, stone plates, utensils, etc. reflects the efforts, intelligence and creativity of the ancient artist who can bring life in the dead materials. Art and craft is also taken as the main occupation of people of Patan. It is doing well in the international market and contributing a lot in increasing GDP. Though the art and architectures of Patan are well preserved by the government bodies and the local people, the earthquake on 12 Baishakh 2072 had caused a great loss to the city.
Talking about the cultural side, Patan is the city with exciting flavor of culture. As Patan was anciently the Newari civilization, it highlights the Newari culture. Patan is the city with its own language, culture and history. One can feel full doze of culture as there isn’t a single month without a festival and not even a single place without a traditional architectural piece. The food, architecture, festivals, occupations, clothing, etc. are the cultural ingredients that one can enjoy here. The festival of the Red Machindranath (Rato Machindranath) which was nominated as the world cultural heritage and the cultura of living goddess, Kumari is also practiced here. The religious practice of Matya (the whole day walk to worship all the stupas in the name of the dead family members), Deepankha Yatra (walk barefooted to 131 religious destinations within two days), Pancha Dan (the festival of five summer gifts), etc. are conducted in a managed way at Patan. The cultural influence in peoples’ life are decreasing due to the modernization and the rapid change in technology. But people are still valuing the good practices and continuing their efforts towards the preservation of art and culture. In these days people are also promoting their culture through business and conducting various cultural events like the one “Jyapu Mahatsav 2017” which was recently conducted. The art and culture of Patan is its identity and it’s something that one should be proud of. Patan is the city with of fine art and exciting culture. It’s the place that one must visit, who is obsessed with exploring art and culture as the cultural difference is the opportunity to new experience.