Patan Durbar Square | Palace of The Malla Kings of Lalitpur
The royal palace of the Malla Kings in ancient times; Patan Durbar Square is now one of the major attractions of Lalitpur district.
Patan Durbar Square lies in the center of Lalitpur district in Kathmandu Valley. It is a medieval Newari architecture built with wood and stone in the 17th century. The durbar square is one of the attractions listed in UNESCO World Heritage list from Kathmandu.
The Durbar Square was the royal palace of the Malla Kings of Lalitpur in ancient times. The royal palace itself is a major attraction of Patan, but the temples around it are also a part of it.
Patan Durbar Square has temples, courtyards, a pond, and a museum around it that comes together as the Durbar Square. Krishna Mandir is one of the most important temples of the durbar square. Beside Krishna Mandir, other attractions like The Golden Temple, Taleju Bhawani Temple, Big Bell of Mangalbazaar, Bhandarkhal Pond, and the three main courtyards are some of the highlights of the area.
History of Patan Durbar Square
Malla Kings of Lalitpur have been given the credit to build Patan Durbar Square. But the assumption goes that the durbar square must have been a place of royalty from the 1st millennium (1 AD- 1000 AD). There is one stone inscription that dates back to 643 AD kept at the main courtyard, Keshav Narayan Chowk. Another stone inscription dates back to 560 AD at Manidhara, which supports this assumption.
Later King Srinivas Malla re-touched the Durbar Square in 1630 AD. But the Patan Durbar Square we see today is the artwork of King Vishnu Malla. He had refurbished the durbar square in 1734 AD.
Situated in patan, the durbar square is on a walking distance from Lagankhel bus stop of Lalitpur. From Thamel, the durbar square is only 6 km away. Public transportation (from Ratna Park bus stop) is easily accessible to the destination. It would take around 15 - 20 mins to reach the Lagankhel bus stop via bus.
The best time to visit Patan Durbar Square would be early mornings and late evenings all year round, except the monsoon season. In the early morning, you can witness devotees worshiping Gods and Goddess of Patan. And, in the evening, you’d get to witness different peoples exploring the durbar square.
KRISHNA MANDIR - Major Temple inside Patan Durbar Square
Krishna Mandir was built in 1631 by King Siddhi Narasingh Malla. Built in the 17th century, it took six years in the making and was completed in 1637. The temple built in the Shikhara style which means it resembles the structure of a mountain peak, especially on the top of the temple.
It is believed that King Narasingh Malla saw Lord Krishna and Goddess Radha outside his palace in his dreams. He built Krishna Mandir on the same spot and that is why Krishna Mandir stands in front of the palace.
Lord Vishnu is believed to have incarnated as Lord Krishna on this Earth. So, in his tribute, Krishna Mandir has images and four full-size statues of Lord Vishnu on his mount, Garuda is found in the temple. One can also find the historic moments of the Sanskrit epics ‘The Ramayana’ and ‘The Mahabharata’ stone engraved in the temple.
The Krishna Mandir is taken care of by the Brahmins of the locality. The temple has 21 golden pinnacles with three stories below. Lord Krishna’s shrine is on the first floor, Shiva Lingam represents Lord Shiva on the second, and Lord Lokeshwor on the third floor.
The temple is named after Lord Krishna. So, people celebrate Krishna Janmashtami in the temple with great joy.
Things to do in Patan Durbar Square
Being a palace of historical significance, there are some monuments you shouldn’t miss visiting. Here is a list of things that you must do while you are in Patan Durbar Square,
- Visit Krishna Mandir
- Make a trip to Patan Museum
- Explore Mangal Bazaar
- Take a look of Bhandarkhal Pond
- Taste Newari Food
Visit Krishna Mandir
Patan Durbar Square tour is incomplete without visiting Krishna Mandir. Made up of stone, the temple is a beautiful Newari architectural masterpiece. People worship Lord Krishna in this temple.
You should also visit the other temples in Patan Durbar Square after seeing Krinshna Mandir. Some of these include the Golden Temple, Bhimsen Temple, Taleju Bhawani Temple, and Mahaboudha Temple.
Make a trip to Patan Museum
Late King Birendra Bir Bikram Shah had inaugurated the Patan museum in 1997. The museum showcases traditional art of Nepal as well as bronze and stone art that reflects Buddhist and Hindu culture. That shows the durbar square is the melting point of Hinduism and Buddhism.
Explore Mangal Bazaar
If you want to buy some souvenirs on your journey, Mangal Bazaar is a you should not miss out. Mangal Bazaar is full of ethical and handmade goods. You can find all sorts of things like hand-made jewelry, singing bowls, paintings, purses, tea, statues, and so on.
Take a look of Bhandarkhal Pond
Bhandarkhal Pond, a sacred pond, was also constructed in the 17th century. At the time, the pond was used by Patan's royal family and kings. This pond was not available to the general public. You can take a quick glance from in front of the pond, which once was the main source of water of Durbar Square.
Taste Newari Food
Being a Newari community, the street there is full of Newari foods. You can visit the local authentic restaurant named “Honacha” that serves Bara (patties made out of lentils, with fillings like meat), Chatamari (Nepali style pizza) and other delicacies.
There are many restaurants that also serve many other Newari cuisines. Also, you can enjoy the view of Patan Durbar Square with the taste of Newari Foods from the rooftop.