Patan Durbar Square: Much more than the medieval monuments

Posted Dec 29th, 2014 under Culture & Festivals, Photo Essay, Travel Guide, Trip Report,

sightseeing-tour-of-patan-durbar-square

The whole view of Patan Durbar Square

The inborn artists of Nepal also the original ethnical tribe of Kathmandu Valley, who are known for their love towards arts and carnivals, Newars are the accredited artists for the historic Newa architecture seen in and around various stupas, temples and courtyards of Kathmandu Valley and beyond.

The indigenous patterns of arts manifested in several wonderful monuments of Nepal, Newa Architecture is possibly the best artwork done in bricks incredibly blended with the unique style of woodcarving.  The fascinating Newa Architecture inside Kathmandu can be observed in the Durbar Squares of Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur, temples like Pashupatinath and Nardevi among others and also in the palace of recently overthrown Royals of Nepal.

The glory of Newa Architecture has gone beyond the valley; Muktinath Temple in the foothill of Annapurna Region in Nepal is also the religious monument built in Newari Style.  Centuries ago, few Nepalese artists including Araniko exported the unique Newa Architecture and the concept of stupas to few neighboring nations and hence, to see the monuments like of Nepal beyond Nepal is never a surprise. 

The artwork in the temple beside Krishna Mandir in Patan Durbar Square

The artwork in the temple beside Krishna Mandir in Patan Durbar Square

The guards of Patan Durbar Square

The guards of Patan Durbar Square

The woodcarving of the protectors; Gods and Goddess

The woodcarving of the protectors; Gods and Goddess

Every bit of Patan Durbar Square is artistic

Every bit of Patan Durbar Square is artistic

Every part of the Newa Architecture either in the whole building or in the part of it, a long and careful work manifests specific meaning and holds special significance. While exploring around Patan Durbar Square, I fell in love with the Newari Architecture. Every corner of this UNESCO World Heritage was tantalizing me, with its unparallel beauty, designed and engraved skillfully in the wood.

I saw an exemplary woodcarving that had iconographic and decorative motifs. I was even more captivated with the artistic windows, columns and the struts- a lot of incredible woodwork that definitely required a huge passion towards arts, immense creativity and hell of a hard work. I mean who would put so much effort and wait for years just for the house they built to live in.

Definitely, the kings- kings of petty kingdoms inside Nepal during medieval and ancient ages were in the state of Art War. As a result, so many artistically opulent monuments were built and undoubtedly, the creators of these arts were the indigenous artists of the Valley- the Newars.

The perfect example of woodcarving- Patan Durbar Square

The perfect example of woodcarving- Patan Durbar Square

Hard rocks carved into beautiful statues: Patan Museum

Hard rocks carved into beautiful statues: Patan Museum

One more symbol of perfectionist inside Patan Museum

One more symbol of perfectionist inside Patan Museum

Birds, birds and Gods- Patan Durbar Square

Birds, birds and Gods- Patan Durbar Square

Visiting inside the Museum of Patan Durbar Square explains why the place is much more than the monuments. The architectural idea of the door or the window looked like an individual building with freestanding columns that supported the roof like structure lying atop a large and artistic base like of a building. The window had a very small ventilation that connected inside to the outside world, however very well represented a concept of decoration and the function. Artistic wooden struts supported the building firmly and the columns on the ground floor arcades of temples, palaces and shelters were equally decorated in their every corner.

The rectangular or the square bahals surrounded the entire monuments with the chaityas (a praying place) and wells at its center in most of the monuments. The entire floor was exquisite; either wooden or paved with stone or bricks. The corridors as if maze from one room to other and the narrow wooden ladders up and down the floors- everything represented the elegance of medieval Nepal. The iconographic and decorative motifs over spilt.

The water tap in the middle of courtyard crafted so beautifully had golden color mouth and the Goddess boarded over it. The tap surrounded by the artistically carved idols of serpents and different deities had a mini- Krishna Temple right over it. Moreover, the statues of stones, metals and woods of different eras are very well preserved and have an easy access for thorough exploration.

History, culture and devotion spills everywhere: Patan Durbar Square

History, culture and devotion spills everywhere: Patan Durbar Square

Wonderful artwork with metals: Patan Museum

Wonderful artwork with metals: Patan Museum

The chaityas (praying place) inside Patan Durbar Square

The chaityas (praying place) inside Patan Durbar Square

The sacred Krishna Temple at Patan Durbar Square

The sacred Krishna Temple at Patan Durbar Square

Patan Durbar Square is much more than medieval and ancient edifices and shrines. The vicinity inside less than one sq.km truly cater the glimpses of ancient civilization in the region. The visitors interacting with the locals and locals indulged in their regular life- it is great experience to stroll in the stone paved historic site, Patan Durbar Square. Plus, the most important factor that a traveler can experience during the tour of heritage city in Nepal is that they get to see the traditional lifestyles of Newars, who have believed in their culture for ages and practice till date.

Kids in Patan love to play with the pigeons

Kids in Patan love to play with the pigeons

Locals enjoying their legacy and the bright sunshine in Patan Square

Locals enjoying their legacy and the bright sunshine

Happy Patan on a queue for water at traditional tap

Happy Patan on a queue for water at traditional tap

Senior citizens: Has our Patan changed?

Senior citizens: Has our Patan changed?

 

Trip Report based on Field Visit made by Explore Himalaya’s Content writer/Editor Jeeten Thapa and his associate Brijesh Lamichhane.

Explore Cultural Tours of Nepal

Visit to 4 important places in Kathmandu city.

Posted Jan 14th, 2013 under Trip Report,

 

Four Australian ladies Lorna, Helen, Brenda and Marilyn were cordially received by Explore Himalaya at the Friendship Bridge at Nepal-China Border on October 21, 2012 after their long adventurous Overland Tibet Tour. The journey from Kodari to Kathmandu was covered the very day.

The sightseeing tour in the Kathmandu Valley was organized for the next two days. In two days they covered Kathmandu Durbar Square, Swayambhunath, Pashupatinath and Boudhanath.

Kathmandu Durbar Square is locally known as Hanuman Dhoka Palace Square. The Durbar Square complex comprises a Mega Royal Square compiling a massive variety of temples dedicated to different Hindu gods and goddess. Every structures seen here were constructed from 15th to 18th century. The palace complex is named after a monkey god Hanuman. At the main entrance the huge stone statue of Hanuman, all painted red can be seen.

ktm-durbar-square

Kathmandu Durbar Square.

Swayambhunath, is considered to be one of the most glorious Buddhist stupas in the world. 2000 years old, Swayambhunath is also called as a Monkey Temple by the visitors. It lies 7m above the valley, so the hill of Swayambhunath is a montage of small stupas and pagoda temples. Temple of Lord Manjushree, who is symbolized as the goddess of soul and education is very closely located to Swayambhunath. At the foothills temples of Shova Bhagwati and Indrayani are located.

swayambhunath

Swayambhunath- A monkey temple.

Pashupatinath Temple is popular especially for the superb ancient achitecture. It lies 5km east of Kathmandu heart at the bank of Bagmati River. The temple is the major pilgrimage for the Hindus who are devotee to Lord Shiva; Lord of Destruction. The temple with two-tiered golden roof and the silver doors is a heritage treasury for the whole world. The huge number of Hindu devotees visit the temple during the Festival Maha Shiva Ratri which normally falls during the month of February.

pashupatinath

Pashupatinath- Mega Hindu Pilgrimage.

Boudhanath is one of the biggest and the oldest Buddhist monuments ever built in Nepal. It was built during the 5th century AD. It stands 36m tall with massive three level Mandala style platform. Boudhanath is considered to be Mecca for the Tibetan Buddhists. Every twelve years here at Boudhanath the special ceremony is celebrated with great delight and belief.

Boudhanath

Boudhanath- Buddhists Mecca.

After the visits to these Mega places the Australian ladies made their cheerful exodus on October 24, 2012.

Pics: EH.

 

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