Kirtipur, the defeated kingdom

Not far away from Kathmandu (just 5 km) there is a small town named Kirtipur which once was the forth kingdom of the valley. Today it is the only one that remains relatively untouched by tourism or development.
History of the town goes back to the 12th century when it was established as a kind of outpost of Patan becoming an independent kingdom later and falling to king Prithvi Narayan Shah in 1769 after a prolonged and terrible siege. The Gorkha army lost 400 men then including their general Kalu Pandey. The vengeful Shah king had the noses and lips of all the men in the town cut off. However, there is another version as well. After defeat the Kirtipuris were ahsamed. They used the phrase "Nakh katnu" which expresses shame. But literally translated it means "to cut one's nose". So, in some opinions British explorers recording the history of the Gorkha army's conquest of the Kathmandu valley took the words literally and in reality there was no mutilation.

The three-roofed Bagh Bhairav temle

The 18th century weapons of defeated Kirtipuris

There are only two attractions that bring outsiders up to the top of Kirtipur and both are temples. The famous three-roofed Bagh Bhairav temple is enclosed within a courtyard full of smaller shrines and temples and contains an image of Bhairav in his tiger form. Also, on the third floor of the temple the shields and swords of the defeated Kirtipuris collecting dust and rust still can be seen.

The wood carving of the Uma Maheshwar Temple

The view of the Kathmandu valley from the hill top of Kirtipur

A couple of hundred meters further up the hill is the Uma Maheshwar temple. It is in typical Nepali pagoda style decorated with wood carvings. From the site a 360 degree amazing panorama of the Kathmandu valley opens up.

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