Patan is another ancient capital of the Kathmandu Valley. It is believed that this town was founded by Emperor Ashoka, although there is no documentary evidence of this. Another name for Patan - Lalitpur, which means "beautiful town". The town is indeed beautiful and unique. No wonder it is listed as the World Heritage site by UNESCO.
The Goddess Ganga statue in the yard of the palace
The elephants-guards at the entrance to the temple
The main tourist attraction of Patan is thre Durbar Square (the Royal Square). Worth seeing here are the Malla dynasty royal palace, built in the 17th century, and one of the most extraordinary buildings of the Kathmandu Valley - the Krishna Mandir (not to be confused with Krishna Temple, which is also located in this area).
The Krishna mandir
This temple is very different from the typical Nepalese temples. Firstly, it is built entirely of stone, not wood. Second, it is not in the form of a pagoda, but built in the Indian architectural style. The friezes of the temple are decorated with scenes from the Indian epics "Mahabharata" and "Ramayana".
The Malla King (suffering from the pigeons too)
The temple was built by the then reigning king, who saw Krishna and his wife Rada in his sleep and found it a sign.
The public bath
And this one not particularly remarkable-looking temple is interesting with the history of its creation. It was erected in the 18th century at the request of the king's daughter in memory of her father's eight wives, who wished to end their lives in a pyre of the deceased husband (the king was not Muslim, and however - 8 wives!)
The "8 wives" temple
Another famous structure of Patan, located five minutes walk from the Durbar Square, is the Mahabuddha temple or the Thousand Buddhas Temple built in the 16th century. The temple got its name not by accident: its entire surface is decorated with terracotta tiles with the image of Buddha. The temple is literally crammed into a small courtyard and, if not signs, one could easily pass by without noticing this wonderful building. An interesting fact: the temple is 100% Buddhist, and is built in 100% Indian architectural style.
There are 16 images of Buddha on this tile
A sculpture in the Mahabuddha's yard
There are always oil lamps burning at the temple
All Patan is living history. The area is full of all sorts of temples and monasteries, and if you just walk down the streets of this ancient town, you'll always find something interesting.
A small temple in the streets of Patan
Garuda sculpture in one of the temples of Patan
A dragon in one of the temples
Detail of a metallic decoration in one of the temples
The dragon, detail
Despite its antiquity, all the temples of Patan are working, and the Durbar Square is always full of people: men like to sit at the walls of the royal palace and read newspapers or simply talk to each other, students with books prefer to take refuge on the steps of the temples, young couples often sit in the shade of some ancient sculpture having a snack. And during local festivals people fill the square to see masked dances.
Men are relaxing at the wall of the palace
A Buddha's small sculpture in one of the temples
Patan is also famous for its craftsmen products. Many things you can see right on the square itself, but there are a lot of shops around the area as well. It is interesting to wander, look, admire, chose and bargain. Silver, semi-precious stones, Tibetan rugs and traditional Tibetan jewelry, bronze sculptures of Buddha and of Buddhist symbols, Nepalese masks and puppets are good here.
Buddha from the Golden Temple