Bhaktapur Durbar Square
It’s the main square of the city dotted with architectural showpieces, pagoda style temples with elaborate carvings, palaces and courtyards.The Golden Gate (Lu Dhowka) is a dainty piece of art embellished with the figures of Hindu goddess Kali, Garuda and other deities that dates back to 1756 AD and is considered one of the most beautiful molded specimens in the world. Right in front of it is the Statue of King Bhupatindra Malla placed on the top of a stone monolith facing the palace. The Palace of 55 windows, build in 1427 AD is a fascinating structure made up of brick wall with a balcony having intricately carved 55 windows. The Lion Gate has two lion statues as guards with stone images of Bhairab and Ugrachandi (aspects of Shiva). The Golden Gate is the entry to Taleju Temple Complex and the royal bath pond. However, only Hindus are allowed to enter the Taleju Temple. The National Art Gallery houses the ancient Hindu and Buddhist paintings and scrolls from different periods and is closed on Tuesdays. The Vatsala Temple is a marvelous stone temple of goddess Vatsala Devi. It is famous for its bronze bell or The Big Bell built by last Malla King also known as ‘the bell of barking dogs’ because the dogs bark to its ring. It is rung twice a day everyday so as to pay homage to the goddess Taleju. There is also a replica of Pashupati Temple (of Kathmandu) known as Yaksheswor Mahadev Temple with erotic carvings on its wooden struts.
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.