Patan Durbar Square -A Jewel of Malla Kingdom in Nepal

Lalitpur (Patan) is one of the oldest cities of Nepal. Believed to be founded on 2nd BC by King Veer Deva, Lalitpur is popular for its ancient architecture, Hindu temples and rich cultural heritage.

Contents


~Origin~

Durbar square or Darbar square is considered a royal courtyard or premise located in and around royal palaces in Nepal. Mostly referred to the 3 historic palaces of Kathmandu valley; Basantapur Durbar Square, Patan Durbar Square and Bhaktapur Durbar Square, it may include pools, fountains, temples, theaters, garden etc. The Kings of the then period used to use the square to organize various festivities, theatrical performances and to meet for various societal causes.

The Newā people or Newārs are the indigenous people of the Kathmandu Valley in Nepal and the creators of its historic civilization. Culturally and linguistically belonging to Indo-Aryan and Mongol tribes, Newars are considered the natives of Kathmandu valley.

The 3 durbar squares of Kathmandu valley belonged to 3 Newari Kings of the Malla period. After the conquest of Kathmandu by the Shah clan of Gorkha region, the city assimilated with the legion of later monarchs, thus marking the beginning of the Shah period in Kathmandu.

History

A statue of Mall King located at Patan Durbar Square

A statue of Mall King located at Patan Durbar Square

Patan Durbar Square is located at the center of Lalitpur. A former palace of Malla Kingdom, it was occupied by by King Prithvi Narayan Shah of the Shah clan following the Battle of Lalitpur in 1768. The palaces and courtyard are believed to have been constructed before the arrival of the Mallas in Nepal by the Pradhan clan.

The first patronage of Patan, King Purandara Simha Malla built the palace in the present location of the Durbar square. It was later expanded and refurbished by King Siddhi Narasimha Mall and his son Srinivasa Sukriti in the 16th century. Today, most of the current architecture comes from 16th century Malla Kingdom.

There are 3 major chowks or courtyards inside Patan Durbar Square, namely; Mul Chowk, Sundari Chowk and Keshav Narayan Chowk. Other than the chowks, the palace boasts numerous gardens, stone taps, religious shrines and temples. Today, the palace serves as a museum –focusing art and culture of the city.

Siege of Lalitpur

King Prithvi Narayan Shah belonged to Shah Kingdom of Nepal

King Prithvi Narayan Shah belonged to Shah Kingdom of Nepal

The battle of Lalitpur in 1768 caused a much hullabaloo in the city. The last monarch of Patan, King Tej Narasimha Malla fled to Bhaktapur following the siege of city by the 20,000 men strong Gurkha army.

King Prithvi Narayan Shah commenced the blockade of the city in a bid to cause famine by cutting supplies from entering the city which made the situation of the inhabitants much worse. Captain George Kinloch of British Raj was appealed by the King of Kathmandu to intervene, however, he was forced to retreat by the Gurkhas. The siege only became possible after striking the deal with numerous nobles of Patan. Gurkha army marched into the city and took over the palace, thus ending the long fiefdom of the Mallas.

Major Attractions

#1 Krishna Temple

Krishna Temple is the major attraction of the Patan durbar square. Dedicated to Lord Krishna, it was built by King Siddhi Narasimha Malla in 1637, following the mystical dream by the king one night. The temple boasts 21 golden pinnacles. The temple becames a major hub of devotees during Krishna Janmashtami on August 17.

#2 Bhimsen Temple

Dedicated to the hero of Mahabharata, a Hindu mythology, Bhimsen is most revered by the Newars of Kathmandu valley. The temple was built by Srinivasa Malla in 1680.

#3 Taleju Bhawani Temple

It was built by King Siddhi Narasimha Malla in 1660. Dedicated to Taleju Bhawani, it is known to be the personal deity of the Malla Kings.

~Map~


~Gallery~


Resources

Gallery

Krishna Janmashtami -Celebrating the birth of Lord Krishna

Lone Trekker:

Celebrating the birth of Lord Krishna, the savior of justice and righteousness, on Krishna Janmashtami this August in Nepal

Originally posted on Chronicles of ADVENTURE TRAVEL:

One of the Avatars of Vishnu, a Hindu-Trinity Deity, Krishna is revered as the ultimate leader of Hindu religion.

Krishna Janmashtami

Krishna Janmashtami (Nepali: कृष्ण जन्माष्टमी) is a festival observing the birth of lord Krishna. This festival is also known as Krishn Ashtami, Saatam Aatham, Gokulashtami, Ashtami Rohini and Sri krishna Jayanti, which falls on the 8th day of the dark lunar fortnight (Krishna Paksha).

The day is marked with observant fasting the entire day. It’s widely celebrated by the Hindus living around the world, however, it’s mainly observed in India, Nepal and Bangladesh.

In Bhagavad Gita, Krishna said,

Whenever there is predominance of evil and decline of good doings (religion), I will reincarnate again and again to end the evil and to save the Dharma (good)”. Krishna Janmashtami is celebration of victory of good and Dharma over devil and bad power.

Therefore, the festive holds a value of eliminating evils from the…

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Gai Jatra -Celebrating the Festival of Cows, in Kathmandu

Gai Jatra has a historical and social significance in Nepal. Mostly celebrated in Kathmandu valley by the Newar community, today, Gai Jatra is held nationwide and is marked as a public holiday.

~Origin & History~

Gai Jatra (Nepali: गाईजात्रा, & Newari: सापारु) is the festival of cows celebrated mainly in Kathmandu valley by the Newar and Tharu community. The word Gai stands for a Cow and Jatra for a festival. Held on the 5th month of Hindu calender, Bhadra (August-September), the festival is observed with joy, along with relishing the monsoon rain. This year it falls on 11 of August.

It is said. people in ancient time started worshiping Yamaraj, “The God of Death,” of Hindu mythology, on this day.

Children in costume marching along the procession during Gai Jatra in Kathmandu

Children in costume marching along the procession during Gai Jatra in Kathmandu

The modern form of celebration of Gai Jatra came into existence during the time of Malla Kingdom. The present form of Gai Jatra which is performed with humorous acts, parody and comedy was started by the then King Pratap Malla of Kathmandu.


 

The legend goes as;

Pratap Malla’s son died at the tender age. His consort was in great misery. The king, disappointed to see her faltering condition, tried many things to cheer her up but failed miserably. He then announced that anyone who could make the queen laugh would be rewarded adequately. Therefore, he asked to bring the cow procession before the sad queen.  People of the city tried donning different costumes and doing humorous acts. The theatrics finally made her smile.

Though, it is suggested that the smile was only for some time, the procession did gave queen a big relief.

Today, people from every household in Kathmandu don costumes and process throughout the street. Feasting is held widely and Comedians are well known for performing on this day for others’ amusement.

Foreigners visiting Nepal during the months of August and September are suggested not to miss this grand event.

~Gallery~

Resources

Inside Bhaktapur Durbar Square: The Ancient Malla Kingdom of Nepal

Lone Trekker:

Inside Bhaktapur Durbar Square -The ancient Malla (Newars) Kingdom of Nepal and the historic town of art and culture.

Originally posted on Chronicles of ADVENTURE TRAVEL:

Bhaktapur Durbar Square

The former royal complex at the center of Bhaktapur (Bhadgoan) district is known as the Bhaktapur Durbar Square. Consisting of a palace, courtyards, historic monuments and numerous temples, the whole complex, along with Kathmandu Durbar Square and Patan Durbar Square, was included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979.

It’s an ancient town built by the Malla (Newars) kings of Nepal. Formerly a Newar kingdom, the major inhabitants of the region are Newars, therefore, the architecture of the area signifies the ancient establishment of the greater Newari culture and arts.

After Kathmandu Durbar Square, Bhaktapur is the 2nd most visited location in the entire Kathmandu valley.

Major Attractions

  1. 55 Windows Palace (Pachpanne Jhyale Durbar) -It is a former royal palace of the Malla Kings. The interesting fact about this palace, is the it has a total of 55 windows.
  2. Golden Gate -A major gate of the palace is entirely made…

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Why the Restricted Areas in Nepal should be opened for commercial trekking?

Restricted areas in Nepal are defined by the protected status levied by the government on certain geographic regions which require protection and regulation for the various cultural, artistic and geographical reasons. The inflow of international tourists or foreigners in such area is highly regulated.

The Department of Immigration of Nepal issued total of only 10,560 trekking permits for the restricted areas in the year 2012, whereas, popular trek routes of Annapurna and Everest received almost 70,000  and 50,000 trekkers, respectively.

People in restricted area are very poor compared to other areas in the Country (Nepal). We can provide them alternative source for income [...] For that to happen, the government should open restricted area.

~Ang Tshering Sherpa, Former President (NMA)

 

Advantages of Opening the Restricted Areas

  1. Increase in Inflow of Tourists -The unrestricted access of such areas will ensure higher inflow of international tourists. The increase in tourists will help increase the annual inflow of tourists in Nepal, therefore, helping the nation gain economic advantage.
  2. Increase in Local Income -Local population of the area can engage in economic activities with the incoming tourists, therefore, helping them earn more money and invest in development of the local economy.
  3. Promotion of Tourism -There are many geographic regions in Nepal which are yet unseen or inexperienced by the tourists. Opening such areas for unrestricted trekking can promote tourism in the national and international market, hence, increasing the inflow of tourists.
  4. Development of Tourism Industry & Increase in State’s Income -Development of tourism sector in Nepal depends on the annual inflow of tourists and receipts from tourism industry. Opening restricted areas can help promote new holiday destinations and allure foreign tourists as well as receipts. The income generated by the state can be used in various promotional activities.
  5. Development of Local Regions -Increase in tourism leads to higher economic activities and access of infrastructures required for development. The construction of roadways, electric lines, trek routes etc can help develop the local scenario and generate income for the locals through direct trade with the tourists.

~List of Restricted Areas~

#1 Manaslu Circuit

It is one of the popular trek circuits located in the Himalaya. Primarily, located in the historical Gorkha district, the sightings of high mountains, snow and ice, exotic flora and fauna and ethnic villages and monasteries are common. >>Read complete article

 

#2 Upper and Lower Dolpo

Dolpo is a high-altitude region located in the western Himalaya of Nepal. The inhabitants of Dolpo are mainly Tibetans, therefore, the region is rich in ethnic Buddhist culture and arts. The abundance of Himalayan wildlife, including; Musk Deer, Himalayan Blue Sheep and endangered species of Snow Leopard, makes trek an unforgettable experience. >>Read complete article


#3 Upper Mustang

Upper Mustang was once an independent kingdom ruled by a monarch. It was annexed to mainland Nepal only in the 18th Century. Also known as “The Forbidden City,” access for foreigners in the region was permitted only in 1992. >>Read complete article


#4 Kanchenjunga Base Camp

The rudimentary campsite of Kanchenjunga 8,586 m (28,169 ft), 3rd highest mountain in the world, concurs in an adventure trek leading up to the far eastern mountain range of Nepal and up to the elevation of 5,100 m (16,732 ft).


#5 Makalu Base Camp

The trek offers outstanding scenery of lush tropical greens of Arun Valley and high-altitude ice fields of Makalu, including Kumbhakarna mountain range. >>Read complete article


#6 Tsum Valley

Tsum valley in Gorkha district was opened for International tourists only in 2007, making it one of the recent places to be opened for commercial treks in Nepal. The valley comprises two remote villages, Chumchet and Chhekampar. >>Read complete article