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Ancient Cities of Kathmandu Valley: Bhaktapur and Patan - Days

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Region : Nepal
Max Altitude : 1400 m
Meals : B|L|D on Tour, |B| in Kathmandu

Bhaktapur Durbar Square

Bhaktapur, the City of Devotees, has many names and even more facets. Also known by the name of Bhadgaon, Khwopa, and Khwopinggram in earlier days, this ancient Newar city, which used to be a Malla kingdom until towards the end of the 15th Century. The core palace area, known as the Bhaktapur Durbar Square is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Bhaktapur is home to ancient traditions, festivals, colorful celebrations, wooden and stone craftwork, and temples displaying excellent medieval local architecture. Additionally, beautiful ponds, masked dances with typical Newari music, narrow stone-paved gallis (streets), and a well-knit neighborhood are the special attributes of Bhaktapur. Nyatapola or Panchatale Mandir (Five-storied temple), 55-windowed palaces, Dattatreya Square, Pottery Square locally Known as ‘Kumari Chowk’ or ‘Tachapal Tole’, and Taumadhi Square are some major places of interests.

Changu Narayan Temple

The Changu Narayan Temple, located about 7 kilometers north of Bhaktapur is one of the oldest shrines in the valley. Sitting atop a ridge at the northern edge of Bhaktapur, the pagoda-styled, two-storied temple is dedicated to the Hindu god ‘Narayan’. It is also enlisted as a UNESCO World Heritage.

Patan Durbar Square

The picturesque Patan, also known contemporarily in Nepali as ‘Lalitpur’ and as Manigal and Yala in the local language, was founded by the Kirats around the 3rd Century BC. The Malla dynasty ruled the town between 1200 to 1800 AD and made significant contributions to the area, evident even today. Siddhi Narasimha Malla and Yog Narendra Malla are a few notable kings who contributed to the current architecture and monuments that Patan is well-known for. The Patan City is designed in the shape of a Dharma Chakra, which is a shape that exhibits paths to enlightenment based on the teachings of Buddha. Patan is the center of exquisitely ancient craftwork in the midst of urbanization.

The Patan Durbar Square features intricately stone-carved temples like Krishna Mandir, the freshly renovated Bhimsen Temple, Vishwanath Temple, and the famous Golden Temple (Hiranya Varna Mahavihara). Patan Museum, Banglamukhi, and Kumbeshwar Mahadev Temples also incite fascination among visitors.

Trip Highlights
  • Visit 3 of the 7 UNESCO World Heritage Sites within the Kathmandu Valley
  • Changu Narayan temple renowned for its intricate carvings and stone sculptures built in the Nepali pagoda style.
  • Explore Bhaktapur Durbar Square which exhibits a splendid collection of ancient palaces, temples, and courtyards, displaying the rich medieval architecture and cultural heritage of Nepal.
  • Visit Patan Dubar Square showcasing an outstanding collection of historic palaces, temples, and exquisite architectural wonders that reflect the city's rich cultural and aesthetic legacy.
  • Discover and closely observe the local craftsman and artistsi in action: Bhaktapur is prominent for pottery and stone crafts while Patan is famous for metal works and statues.

Drive to Patan Dubar Square (about 7km from the core of Kathmandu city)

Our day tour of Patan and Bhaktapur starts at 9 AM. You are picked up from your hotel and transferred to Patan Durbar Square. It is a short drive (about 7 km) from the core of the capital city of Kathmandu. Take a trip down history lane with our master tour guide. Prepare to unravel mysteries of the diverse cultures of Nepal, particularly the Kathmandu Valley.

Drive to Changu Narayan Temple, 20km from Patan ~1 hour drive

Next, we drive to the Changu Narayan temple. Located about 20km from Patan, it is tucked away from the capital city and placed at a hilltop, north of Bhaktapur. Built as early as 325 AD; Changu Narayan is the oldest known Vishnu temple. Displaying the masterpiece of Nepalese Pagoda architecture, the temple has a private museum nearby where you will see an impressive exhibition of ancient Nepalese crafts, coins, arts and architecture.

Drive to Bhaktapur, ~7km from Chanu Narayan Temple

We then head to Bhaktapur. Alienated from the other Kathmandu and Patan, Bhaktapur is an old city where you get to behold the traces of ancient civilizations and their marvels, actively preserved by the locals.

Towards the evening, you are transferred back to your hotel, ending the day’s tour.  

Include / Excludes

Price Includes

  • Accompany of Licensed, highly experienced, English-speaking tour guide with salary and all personal expenses covered
  • A comfortable, air-conditioned car with a professional, friendly driver for the tour
  • Pick-up from your hotel and drop-off at your hotel after the tour
  • All applicable monument entrance fees and permits during the tour as per itinerary
  • All applicable government charges and taxes

Price Excludes

  • Nepal Visa and International air-tickets
  • Travel Insurance: medical expenses and hospitalization, and Trip Cancellation charges
  • Personal equipment, meals, accommodations and any other personal expenses such as beverages, confectionaries, laundries, etc.
  • Tips to your guide, porters, driver and other field staff as a token of appreciation
  • Any other expenses or charges not mentioned in the “Trip Includes” list
Additional Info

Customer Reviews

37 reviews in TripAdvisorRecommended by 100% of travelers

Customer Reviews

44 reviews in TripAdvisorRecommended by 100% of travelers

star ratingTook great care of me from start to finish. Everyone so friendly, I never felt alone. Would join this company before any other.

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avatar thumb Theresa M
March 1, 2024

star ratingWalking Amongst Magnifecent Monster Mountains - I was guided on the Everest Base Camp trek by Jhalak. He is a highly experienced guide who pays attention to safety and shows patience, kindness and good humour. I... read more

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avatar thumb Vanessa W
March 1, 2024

star ratingExperienced and friendly - Mr Jhalak is a very experienced guide who can spell all the names of the peaks. He knows almost more than half the people living along the EBC trekking. 😉

avatar thumb Way Len C
February 23, 2024

star ratingThe best experience of Nepal - We have had the best time trekking with Jhalak! He is so kind, funny and knowledgeable. He was very considerate of our wellbeing and always checked in to see if... read more

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avatar thumb beth m
February 14, 2024

star ratingEverest Base Camp (EBC) - Amazing Trek, Amazing Guide - Jhalak ji was our guide on the EBC trek that we did in Sep, 2023. Jhalak ji is a great guide who is very experienced but still humble, helpful and... read more

avatar thumb S R
February 8, 2024

star ratingA safe EBC Trek with senior-citizen parents - Jhalak Ji was our guide for the EBC trek in Sep 2022. It was a family trek with my parents and fiance (now wife). My parents are both senior citizens... read more

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January 29, 2024