There are lots of things to explore at Patan (Lalitpur). If we have to list them then here are the ten things that one can do at Patan.
1. Patan Durbar Square
Visiting the heart of Patan, “The Patan Durbar Square”. It used to be the capital of Patan and is popular as Mangla Bazar. One can explore the museum, temples, stone taps, idols, etc. Among many pieces of art, the Krishna Mandir, in Sikhara style stands as the center of attraction. It is believed to be built within a single stone. This heritage site entertains its visitors with fine ancient art and exciting cultural ingredients.
2. Kumbheshwor Jagatnarayan Temple
The Kumbheshwor Jagatnarayan Temple is located inside the huge courtyard, on the bank of Bagmati river near the Ghat. The beautiful temple built in Shkhara style is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. This temple was built in 19th century and is named as Jagatnarayan as it was built by Jagat Sumshere to demonstrate his devotion to Lord Vishnu. This place is the perfect example of fine arts in the city. The main piece of attraction in this temple include the skillfully sculpted stone statues of Vishnu set in the main body of the temple along with the life size statue of Hanuman, Garuda and Ganesh. The bronze Garuda pillars and a stately priest house with many lavishly carved wooden windows enhances the artistic glamour of this place.
Mahaboudha, the temple as a demonstration of dedication to Lord Buddha is located at the east of the Patan Durbar Square. It was built in 1585 by a priest named Abhaya Raj of Patan. The temple is beautiful artistic piece in Shikhara style. The temple is also known as “The Temple of a Thousand Buddhas” as a Buddha image is engraved on every brick. The temple is modeled on the Maha Bodhi Temple at Bodh Gaya, India. The ceramic ware structure is one among the fourteenth-century Nepali engineering good works of art. Mahaboudha is the peaceful place and you can enjoy the silence between the busy roads of Patan. You can see and shop the marvelous metallic idols which are the work of the finest craftsmen in the city.
Godawari, the southern town in Patan is the popular hiking destination for tourists. The place is named after the Godawari river. It is well known for its rich wildlife, splendid environment and botanical garden. Watching the colorful birds, playing with the pure cold and refreshing water are some of fascinating things at Godawari. The place near it, Shanti Ban is perfect for the morning walk and to fill the lungs with the fresh air. One can also enjoy hiking uphill and reach the top of Phulchowki. The serene environment and greenery at Godawari leaves an inerasable imprint on the minds of the visitors and tourist every year.
5. Ashoka stupas
Ashoke stupas at four directions with a circular base and hemispherical dome is the most remarkable feature of the city. The four stupas at four directions are:
Lagan Thura – Southern Stupa
Teta Thura – Eastern Stupa
Pucho Thura – Western Stupa
Ibahi Thura – Northern Stupa
The stupas were built by Charumati (daughter of the great ruler Ashoka). Though the stupas have similar appearance, you can gather different experience after visiting each of them.
6. Hiranya Varna Mahavihar
Hiranya Varna Mahavihar, also known as “Kwa Baha” (in Nepal bhasa) is located at Kwalakhu road in Patan. As it stands between the narrow and confusing galies of Patan, exploring and asking direction to the local people to reach here is the interesting side of the visit. It is also famous as the “Golden Temple” as the gold colored Great Monastery is the center of attraction here. The three-storied golden temple is built in Pagoda style. The golden pagoda dedicated to Lord Shakyamuni Buddha was built in the twelfth century by King Bhaskar Varman. The place is also famous for feeding rats. The praying wheels, idols, the crowd of prayers, the pleasant smell of agarbatti (thin wooden stick covered in a substance that is burned to produce a pleasant smekk), the shops of thanka paintings, etc. excites the visitors of this place.
7. Rudra Varna Mahabihar
Rudra Varna Mahabihar is located at Uku Baha Tole which is few minutes away from Patan, Sundhara. The Bihar is hidden away from the bustle of the city down a small side street.
Among the 15 Bahas of Patan, Rudra Varna Mahabihar is one of the oldest and well preserved one. In the ancient time this historic Buddhist temple was used for coronation ceremonies, with many kings being crowned under its three-tiered roof throughout the centuries. The Bihar is one of the perfect example of fine ancient art in the city. Ornate treasures adorn its walls and altars, with the courtyard featuring many elaborately carved wood, bronze, and stone statues, plus grand stone pillars and prayer wheels, absolutely worth a visit.
8. Aksheshwor Mahavihar
Aksheshwor Mahavihar is located at the top of Pulchowk between the busy roads. You can have the stunning view of the city from the top of Aksheshwor Mahabihar. The view looks even more attractive during the month of November, with the clear blue sky lined with wisps of autumn clouds. The hillside is the center of fresh air and silence.
9. Batuk Bhairav
The beautiful temple of Batuk Bhairav — a tantric deity, and one of the Asta Bhairavs of the Kathmandu Valley is located at Lagankhel, Lalitpur. It is said that the temple was first built by the Lichchhavi king, Amsuvarma. Later, the temple was renovated by Juddhashamsher Rana in 1934 AD. The object of worship is a simple rock, but idols of Kumar, Ganesh, and Kumari are also present here. Batuk Bhairav is considered to be the terrifying form of Lord Shiva and it is believed that the trinity of Brahma, Vishnu, and Maheshwor argued among themselves as to who was greater, later Shiva took on the form of Bhairav so as to prove himself the greatest among the three. This temple is the fine exhibit of craftsmanship and architecture. Although the environment is noisy but it is relaxing and peaceful to watch the graceful people performing puja in front of the God.
10. Jyapu Samaj Bhawan
Jyapu Samaj Bhawan is located in the midst of a busting Newar settlement, Bholdhoka, Lalitpur. One can enjoy visiting Jyapu Museum there. The museum is the finest example of unity within the people to protect those things what is truly theirs. The museum reflects the life style of the Jyapus, an indigenous group of Newar society. The museum displays the variety of clay objects, wooden and metal works, musical instruments, traditional wears, documentation of various festivals, etc. Each piece displayed at the museum tells the story of the ancestors. Visiting this museum is like tracing the history of the Newar civilization.