The well preserved ancient Newar town, known for its artistic excellence, splendid courtyard and palaces, pottery and weaving industries and rich customs and culture, is a ‘living heritage’ in itself. The literal translation of ‘Bhaktapur’ i.e. “place of devotees” is well justified by its magnificent temples, artwork, festivals and religious celebrations. It was enlisted as UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979. The place is like an open air museum, best for aimless wandering and exploration. The ‘culture gem’ of Nepal, Bhaktapur is extremely picturesque and inspiring. So simply put on your best walking shoes and get ready to have a good peek into the famous Newar culture and tradition.
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Visit to the temple of Pashupatinath, situated on the banks of the sacred Bagmati river, the temple of Lord Shiva is truly amazing. Especially visit of early morning to see Hindu rituals on the river bank is worth. Only Hindus are allowed to go inside the Temple complex, but to others also there are plenty of areas to explore around. Pashupatinath, with a tiered golden roof and silver doors, is famous for its superb architecture and is the holiest of Hindu shrines in Nepal. Cremation ghats located at the Bagmati river showcase the funeral rituals of Hindu followers, which is very unique.
Taumadhi Square showcases the brilliant architecture of multi roofed temples and craftsmanship of stone sculptures. The five-storied Nyatapola Temple dating back to 1702 AD is the tallest pagoda temple of Nepal. The colossal edifice dedicated to Hindu Goddess Laxmi has intricate carvings and embellishments on its doors, struts and windows with five terraces each having a pair of two meters tall stone statues of – the most famous wrestlers (Jaya Malla and Phatta Malla), elephants, lions, griffons and tantric goddess (Baghini and Singhini) on either side. Next to Nyatapola Temple is the Bhairavnath Temple dedicated to Lord Bhairav (the dreadful aspect of Lord Shiva). The three storied temple (now renovated) was severely destroyed by the 1934-earthquake.