The ancient city is located on the southern bank of the holy Bagmati River and is approximately five kilometres south-east from Kathmandu. The whole city is full of Buddhist monuments and Hindu temples with fine bronze gateways, marvellous statues, guardian deities and magnificent carvings of stone, metal and wood. The city, well noted for its gorgeous craftsmanship and metal work, is often known as the city of superb artists.
Patan Durbar Square (World Heritage Site)
Most of the monuments in this square belong to the medieval Malla period between the 15th and 17th centuries AD. Important things to be seen in this area include the Golden Gate and the Golden Window of the old palace, the beautiful traditional metal craft, the famed Krishna temple with its 21 golden pinnacles, and the Royal Bath of Sundari Chowk, a perfect piece of classical stonework. The Royal Taleju temple and the Vishwa Narayan temple are fine examples of unique craftsmanship in wood. The temple of Bhimsen with its magnificent golden balcony overlooking the square outside includes many other shrines and sculptures scattered in and around the square.
Built in the 16th century by the late King Siddhi Narsingh Malla, this temple is made of pure stone. It is a wonderful structure constructed completely out of stone, except for the few pinnacles made of metal. The carvings on its frames depict battle scenes from the ancient Hindu epics of South Asia, the Ramayan and the Mahabharat in particular. Opposite is a single stone pillar with a Garud sitting upon it, paying homage to Lord Krishna.
Hiranya Verna Mahabihar
Located inside Kwabadehal, this three-storeyed golden pagoda of Lokeshwor (Lord Buddha) was built in the twelfth century by King Bhaskar Verma. Inside the topmost storey of the pagoda are a golden image of Lord Buddha and a large prayer wheel.
Rudra Verna Mahabihar
This unique Buddhist monastery contains a fine and amazing collection of images and statues in metal, stone and wood. It is believed that Kings in the ancient times were crowned in this monastery. Many of the treasures offered by the devotees of yesteryear can be seen here even today.
This five-tiered temple of Lord Shiva was built during the reign of King Jayasthiti Malla. A fair is held here each year in August on the day of Janai Poornima.
The Ashokan Stupas
There are four ancient stupas popularly believed to have been built in 250 BC, by Emperor Ashoka at the four corners of Patan. The four stupas are situated in Pulchowk, Lagankhel, Ebahi and Teta (way to Sano Gaon) respectively. They serve to emphasize the city's ancient religious importance.
Temple of Machhendranath and Minnath
The pagoda of Red Machhendra Nath built in 1408 AD is situated in Tebahal. For six months the deity is taken to its other shrine in Bungmati. The temple of Minnath is situated in Tangal on the way to Tebahal.
This Buddhist temple, made of clay bricks, lies to the east of Patan Durbar Square. Within it are thousands of engraved images of Lord Buddha. The terracotta structure is a masterpiece of fourteenth century Nepalese architecture.
The twin villages of Bungamati and Khokana date back to the 16th century and epitomize the typical medieval Newar village. These villages are located south of Kathmandu down a rutted road dotted with chaityas, appropriate for an ancient procession route. Bungamati is famous as the winter home of the Red Machhendra Nath, god of Patan who resides there each winter in a powerful, Shikhara style temple. Its spacious courtyard, where raising chickens is strictly forbidden, is often used to dry grain in the sun.