Located 13km east of the Kathmandu valley, Bhaktapur city is also popular as Bhadgaon or Khwopa. This ancient city is widely known as the city of culture, the city of devotees, or an open museum. It is the home of traditional Nepali culture and unique wooden and pottery art. Each and every piece of art reveals the medieval age culture and tradition of Nepal. All of the monuments and sculptures reflect the century-old technique of craftsmanship. Truly it is Nepal’s cultural gem. UNESCO World Heritage Site, Bhaktapur Durbar Square, in Bhaktapur allures a large number of domestic and international tourists. The complex consists of four distinct squares namely Durbar Square, Taumadhi Square, Dattatreya Square, and Pottery Square, however, the whole area is informally known as Bhaktapur Durbar Square. Many people visit this historical place to savour the beauty of the entire Durbar location. The spellbinding archaic beauty of the palace captivates any travellers. One’s visit to Nepal is incomplete without a reminiscing tour in Bhaktapur.
History of Bhaktapur Durbar Square
After the establishment of the Bhaktapur Durbar Square in the 12th century, the Palace there had altogether 99 courtyards. However in the 18th century, out of 99 courtyards only 12 remained and today they are merely half that number. Really, it is very difficult to determine the exact history of the Palace buildings. However, it is believed that the city was founded by the Malla King named King Anand Malla in the 12th century. In addition, the Kathmandu Valley was once ruled from Bhaktapur by the Mallas, until King Yakshya Malla divided the kingdom among his three sons in 1482 AD. Thereafter until the mid 18th century, Bhaktapur saw many battles. Along with the division of the valley kingdoms, the Shah dynasty conquered them one after another. During this time the city not only faced battles and fights, but it also saw the great flourishment in the culture, art, and architecture. Mallas are the ones who began to flourish the fantastic art and sculptures in the city. Undoubtedly, the Malla reign contributed a lot to making the Bhaktapur city more cultural and architectural.
Despite being close to the Kathmandu Valley the elegant art, fabulous culture, vibrant festivals, traditional dances, and indigenous lifestyle of the Newari people retain the ancient beauty of the Bhaktapur. You can still see the women of Bhaktapur in the traditional Newari attire which is referred to as Haku Patasi in the Newari language. The majority of people here are farmers. They produce household items like clay pots, straw mattresses, clothes, and many more. Besides these, they also produce the JUJU DHAU, which you should taste during your visit to the Bhaktapur Durbar Square.
If you visit Bhaktapur city on the 1st day of the Nepalese New Year, you will get to see the BisketJatra. During this vibrant festival, chariots are pulled through the streets. Eventually, a tug of the war determines who will be blessed with good fortune in the upcoming year.