Regarded valley to end the worst drought going

Regarded as the oldestcity in Kathmandu Valley, Patan holds huge historical importance with most ofthe infrastructures and monuments dating back to 16th century.

Situated in thedistrict of Lalitpur, Patan is also renowned as one of the oldest Buddhistcities in the world. The major points of attraction in the durbar square are:Patan Museum, Golden Temple, Krishna Temple, Mahabouddha Temple, etc. Thedurbar square is situated within a walking distance from New Baneshwor ofKathmandu. The heritage is full of rich arts and crafts making it a perfectplace to experience ancient culture of centuries ago.

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There are plenty ofhistorical and cultural information related to this beautiful World HeritageSite which are described in the following sections. HistoryThe history of Patan datesback to 3rd century when the kingdom was ruled by Kirat Dynasty. Then thekingdom was handed over to Lichhavis and Mallas until the Shah Dynasty tookcontrol over the entire Kathmandu Valley and Patan became a city in the kingdomof Nepal. Today Patan resides within the city of Lalitpur which got its namefrom a farmer named “Lalit”. He was believed to carry RatoMachindranath, a Hindu God, from the state of Assam, India, to the valley toend the worst drought going on in that time. It is believed that the Great EmperorAshoka visited the place in 250 B.

C. and built five Buddhist stupas, four atfour different corners of Patan and one at the center. There are thousands oftemples and monuments located inside and around the Durbar Square but only fewof them are discussed in this blog.The Golden Temple, alsoknown as Hiranya Varna Mahavihar, was built in the 12th century by then KingBhaskar Verma. A golden statue of Buddhist God, Gautam Buddha, can be seeninside the temple from which it got its name.

The Kumbheshwor Temple was builtin 14th century by then King JayastHiti Malla. The Mahaboudha Temple is anotherimportant point of attraction around the Durbar Square which was constructed inthe late 16th Century, by a renowned priest of that time, Abhaya Raj. Thefamous Patan museum located inside the Durbar Square was opened for public inthe year of 1997 but the buildings were constructed in 18th century. TheBhimsen Temple was built in the 17th century dedicated to one of the members ofPandavas in the great Hindu epic, Mahabharata. And now about the Krishna Temple,it is a temple entire made from stone and was built in 17th century dedicatedto Hindu God Lord Krishna. CultureSince the monuments,temples and shrines of the area was built hundreds of year ago, it holds animportant point for respecting ancient culture and tradition. Lots of festivalsand cultural events takes place in this area such as the most importantfestival in the entire country, Dashain.

This festival is celebrated as arespect to the goddess Durga for getting victory over wicked demons andprotecting people from dangers. The festival is celebrated throughout thecountry in different important locations such as Kathmandu Durbar Square andPasupatinath Temple. The birthday of Lord Krishna, also known as Krishna Jayanti,is celebrated by Hindu worshippers by gathering at the Krishna Templethroughout the night. Lord Krishna is a leading character from a major epic,Mahabharata, of Hindu Religion who taught people that only truth and goodintention will achieve victory in the world. We can see the important scenes fromMahabharata engraved on the walls of the Krishna Temple. The Durbar Square holdsan important place for respecting Buddhist culture and tradition as well.

As morethan thousand statues and monuments around the Durbar Square are dedicated toLord Buddha, his birthday is celebrated as a huge festival in the Square. Thefive stupas erected by The Great Emperor Ashoka, who was a big worshiper ofLord Buddha, are called Ashoka Stupas. The temple of Rato Machhindranath isdedicated to the god of rain which holds a great celebration calledMachhindranath Jatra where a parade is held from the temple to a village ofBungamati of Lalitpur district. The great Patan Museum is famous for capturingthe culture and lifestyle of people residing through all the time in thehistory of the Durbar Square. One can see several statues, religious objectsand cultural evidence of the place related to this unique Heritage site.

ReligionAs mentioned earlier, theheritage site is an important location for both Hindu and Buddhist religionfollowers. Both the religions are followed side by side without any conflictsin Nepal. The Durbar Square holds plenty of temples dedicated to Hindu Gods andGoddess such as the Krishna Temple, Kumbheshwor Temple, Bhimsen Temple,Vishwanath Temple, Taleju Bhawani Temple, Jagatnarayan Temple, etc. Each templeis dedicated to particular gods and goddess such as Vishwanath Temple isdedicated to the Lord Shiva who is regarded as the great protector anddestroyer of the world. Every temple dedicated to Lord Shiva has a sculpture ofa bull sitting in front of the main statue of Shiva Linga, so we can see thesame thing in this temple. The Taleju BhawaniTemple is dedicated to the goddess Taleju Bhawani who was considered as thepersonal deity of Malla dynasty. The Jagatnarayan Temple is dedicated to theHindu God Lord Vishnu who is considered as the great protector of the world.Similarly, plenty of monuments and temples are dedicated to Lord Buddha such asthe Ashoka Stupas, Mahabouddha, Hiranya Varna Mahavihar, Rudra Varna Mahavihar,The temple of Mahabouddha is inspired by a temple named “temple ofthousand Buddha” in Boghgaya of India where the great Buddhist God GautamBuddha got enlightened.

All the temples dedicated to Hindu and Buddhist godsare worshipped by local peoples protecting the ancient culture of this heritagesite. In the endPatan Durbar Square wasdesignated as one of the seven monument zones inside the Kathmandu Valley whichaltogether became a part of UNESCO World Heritage Site in the year of 1979. Althoughsome monuments and temples have been destroyed by the earthquake of 2015, mostof them are standing still and those which got destroyed are also undergoingmajor re-construction. So make sure you visit this wonderful location whiletravelling around the valley. 

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