Patan Travel Information: Patan travel guide includes featuring up-to-date information on attractions, hotels, restaurants, nightlife, travel tips and more. The ancient name of Patan is Lalitpur, meaning city of beauty. It is indeed a city of beauty and grace and is planned on a circular format with Buddhist stupas at each of the four points of the compass. The Patan city is three kilometers south-east of Kathmandu across the southern bank of the river Bagmati. Like Kathmandu, its most photogenic centre of attraction is its Durbar Square complex, situated right in the middle of the market place. The city is full of Buddhist monuments and Hindu temples, with fine bronze gateways, guardian deities also and wonderful carvings. Noted for its craftsmen and metal workers, it is also known as the city of artists. The city is believed to have been built during the reign of Vira Deva in 299 A.D.
Patan is the oldest of the three cities of the ancient Kathmandu Valley. Hundreds of temple edifices abound in the city. Patan’s biggest attraction is the Durbar Square (the Palace complex). The awe-inspiring majesty of the temples in the square give mute testimony to a multi-century-old civilisation of magnificence – truly the kingdom’s great heritage. The small houses lining the cobble-paved streets are the homes of skilled craftsmen whose arts have been passed from father to son. Within the Durbar Square is the Krishna Mandir, the temple of Lord Krishna, built by King Siddhi Narasingha Malla in the 16th century. The work on the edifice is considered to be the best example of the ancient Nepali artisan’s skills in creating different forms of temple craft. The temple’s frieze has been carved out to depict the significant scenes from the The four Ashoka Stupas, situated in the four corners of the city, are believed to have been built by the Buddhist monarch of ancient India, Emperor Ashoka.
During the 12th century, a monarch who reigned in Patan, King Bhaskar Varma, had the Hiranya Varna Mahavihar temple constructed. This Buddhist Monastery has a superb gold-plated roof, courtyard with many prayer wheels and richly decorated three-storied temple. Another Buddhist shrine in Patan is the Mahaboudha Temple, which is a masterpiece in terracotta. Often called the “Temple of a Million Buddhas”, because of the 9,000 Buddha images carved on the bricks of the edifice, the temple was built by an ancient priest in Patan named Abhaya Raj. Located near Patan’s marketplace is the impressive temple of Machhendranath. The architecture here is also pagoda-style and the temple here houses (for 6 months of the year) the fine clay image of the Red Machhendranath.