Tali has developed some intestinal issues last night and this morning, but still wants to do some sightseeing today, so our plan is to go to Patan, which is about 5 km south of greater Kathmandu. It is one of the four royal cities in the Kathmandu valley, along with Bhaktapur, Kirtipur, and Kathmandu itself.
Patan is filled with wood and stone carvings, metal statues, ornate architecture, including dozens of Buddhist and Hindu temples, and over 1200 monuments. It’s easy to spend a day or more here, just admiring the beautifully carved wood details of the old Newari brick buildings.
A Durbar Square is a palace complex, and each of the four royal cities in the valley has one. The Patan Durbar Square, like its counterparts, is a wonderful mélange of palace buildings, artistic courtyards and graceful pagoda temples. Listed as a World Heritage Site, the former royal palace complex is the center of Patan’s religious and social life, and is also a major tourist destination. Many important religious celebrations that occur once a year only, are held in the Durbar Squares.
The Durbar Square is also the center of a network of narrow alleys and streets, radiating out from it, and everywhere there are 17th century temples, shrines, sculptures, wood carvings, and stupas, all in the Newari style of architecture. It’s a great area to wander around, peeking into courtyards to discover unexpected beauty!
The Patan Durbar Square is centered around the Royal Palace. Surrounding the intricately designed Royal Palace of Nepal are numerous temples, all exquisite examples of Newari architecture. Patan Durbar Square boasts three courtyards, known locally as chowks, each the hub of a network of streets.
We strolled throughout the Square, stopping to enjoy a refreshing lime soda in one of the many rooftop cafes, whenever we began to tire in the heat. The area is a feast for the eyes, in its beautiful handwork of wood and stone, and the diversity of its buildings.
In the late afternoon, we took a taxi back to the Thamel in Kathmandu, and as I write this, Tali is napping on one of the couches in our favorite coffee house in Thamel…she’s just plain exhausted herself!
Once she woke up…well, actually, once I woke her up…we walked over to the Garden of Dreams, an exuberantly named small manicured garden in Thamel, before returning to our hotel.