Patan Durbar Square: Located in 7 Km south east of Kathmandu and founded in the 3rd century AD, Patan is the oldest among the 3 cities in the valley. Patan, historically known as Lalitpur (city of fine arts), has fascinating Hindu and Buddhist monuments with finest craft since time immemorial. The royal palace square, surrounding shrines and courtyards are praiseworthy monuments during your trip in Nepal. The palace, a number of pagodas, Shikhara style Krishna temple made of stone, classic craftsmanship, nearby five– storied Kumbheshwar temple and the golden temple are some of the main highlights of Patan. Though we can see ancient temples, Stupas and monasteries in the city, Durbar square consists of monuments from 16th and 17th century in general.
Bhaktapur Durbar Square: This Square is an open museum holding exciting palace, courtyards, royal bath, sculptures, pagodas, Shikhara style temples and Buddhist monastery along with exclusive architecture. In other words, this is the most beautiful Durbar you visit in your Nepal tours. Though 1934 earthquake brought bad luck to its structure, still the remaining monuments are the finest examples of the medieval excellence. Just near the square, you will visit the traditional painting School, the dying art of Nepal which is the best souvenir from Nepal. Besides palace complex, five storied temple with most appreciated architecture, the Pottery Square, Dattatraya Square and Peacock window are some other things to see in Bhaktapur.
The hilltop temple of Changu Narayan, located 4 kilometers north of Bhaktapur, is the oldest Vishnu shrine in Kathmandu Valley. Founded as early as 325 AD, it is one of Nepal’s most beautiful and historically important structures. Reconstructed in 1702 following its destruction by fire, the two-storey temple has many intricate carvings of the ten incarnations of Vishnu and different multi-armed Tantric goddesses. Changu Narayan’s true gems, however, are the Lichhavai period (4th to 9th centuries) stone, wood, and metal carvings in the courtyard surrounding the main temple.
Apart from the main temple there are other shrines dedicated to Shiva, Chinna Masta (Kali), Ganesh and Krishna found in the courtyard. A pilgrimage to the temple of Chinna Masta, considered to be the mother goddess worshipped at the site in prehistoric times, is held here each year in the Nepali month of Baisaakh (April-May).
The Changu Narayan Temple is one of seven structures cited by UNESCO as demonstrating the historic and artistic achievements that make the Kathmandu Valley a World Heritage Site.