Saturday 15 December 2018

My Nepal Trip Part 4: Bhaktapur -The Arrival & Bhaktapur Durbar Square

Arrival At Bhaktapur
I planned my Nepal travel to include an interesting diversity of things that I wish to experience. From Nagarkot, a place where you can see picturesque landscape to Bhaktapur, a historic town where everything is as ancient as can be sounded exciting even before I embarked on the journey. 

Bhaktapur which has earned itself a multitude of titles like "City of Culture", "Living Heritage", "Nepal's Gem", "An Open Museum" and "City of Devotees" is also listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO because of its rich culture, indigeneity and well preserved ancient monuments.

We left Nagarkot at 12 noon and were told it would take less than an hour to get to Bhaktapur as they are just 12 km apart. As anticipated the journey took much longer due to the poor road condition. I have pre booked a hotel in Bhaktapur but before we could enter the historic town, we were made to pay an entrance fee which is 1500 NPR or USD15 per person. It is wiser to pay in Nepalese Rupee as 1500 NPR is only approx. USD13 at the money changer's.

All motorised vehicles other than motorcycles are not allowed into the town. Our van was allowed to enter but only for a short distance from the entrance. A phone call has to be made to the hotel to announce our arrival. I was expecting the hotel to send a buggy but instead it sent two staffs who manually carried the heavy luggage over a few trips to the hotel about 50 meters away.  

Tulaja Boutique Hotel
There are a number of hotels in the oldest part of Bhaktapur. Tulaja Boutique is chosen because it is cheap, has hot water shower and is in very close proximity to the town's attractions. 

The hotel occupies a narrow and tall building with no elevator. The staffs multi tasked and took care of the registration, our luggage, welcome drink, etc. After helping ourselves to the complimentary milk tea at the small hotel lobby, we checked into our room.
I was surprised and amused when I saw the lock on my room door. This hotel really lives up to its town's name of being 'ancient and outmoded'.
My room was not bad. There were some glitches which I chose to ignore as the staffs were so hospitable and the breakfast though simple was good.

Attraction No 1: Bhaktapur Durbar Square
The top attraction of Bhaktapur is its Durbar Square. Bhaktapur suffered 2 major eathquakes, one in 1934 and a recent one in 2015. Some ancient monuments in the square have been brought to complete ruin, some partially destroyed and still undergoing reconstruction. A good number however escaped unscathed and much of the square is still intact. 
The monuments in Bhaktapur Durbar Square which consists of temples, palace, gates and courtyards showcase very intricate and ancient wood, metal and stone artwork. There are a few famous ones to look out for.

Siddhi Lakshmi Temple has collapsed but the steps to the temple which is flanked by statues of human and animals remain. Walking around, you can still see rubbles of the ruin from 2015.

Golden Gate is embellished with mythical creatures and looks quite grand. It is the 
entrance into the main courtyard of a palace.

Lion's Gate was built by artisans whose hands were said to have been severed upon completion by the ruling king so that no more of such masterpieces could be reproduced.

Fasidega Temple was completely destroyed by the 1936 earthquake. It was reconstructed and destroyed again by the 2015 earthquake. What's left are the stairs and some walls. I have attached a picture to show how it looks like before the recent earthquake.

The Royal Palace aka 55 Windows Palace dominates the square as it is one of the most spectacular monuments there. Built during the 15th century and remodeled during the 17th century, this 3 storied palace is a very beautiful architectural masterpiece.

Big Bell was erected by a king during the 18th century to mark the morning and evening prayers of Taleju Temple in the vicinity.

There are a lot of interesting things to see at the square. Ancient sculptures, beautiful doors, old courtyards, elaborate woodwork, etc

Interesting shops line the square displaying a plethora of handcrafted goods.

My visit coincided with The Festival Of Lights and the square was being prepared for a grand celebration. From the Durbar Square we moved on to visit other attractions.

Note: This is a self planned travel where I led a group of 5 and acted as a tour leader for 6 out of the 7 days of the travel. I put in tonnes of effort into the planning so that we could visit all the attractions without wasting too much time while minimizing the cost as employing a local tour guide would mean paying for his allowance and lodging as well. The hotels were carefully selected and booked ahead of the travel. I also got a local Nepal agent to arrange our transportation for 7 days and employed an English speaking guide only on our last day in Kathmandu. 

Local Nepal Agent: Yog Travels & Tours - P Ltd 
                               Mr Nabin Ngurung
                               Tel: +977 984 3725505 (call or Whatsapp)
Reliability of  the agent: Excellent

Related Posts: Click To View
1. Nagarkot -The Himalayan Views, Sunset And Sunrise
2. Nagarkot - The Village
3  Nagarkot - Staying In Club Himalaya
4. Bhaktapur - The Arrival & Bhaktapur Durbar Square
5. Bhaktapur - Pottery Square & Taumadhi Square
6. Bhaktapur - Walking Back In Time Photo Gallery
7. Road Journey From Bhaktapur/Kathmandu To Pokhara
8. About Pokhara And Where To Stay
10.Paragliding In Pokhara
11. Pokhara Attractions
12. Bicycling In Pokhara
13.Glimpses Of kathmandu. (Photo Gallery)
14 Kathmandu's Top Attractions

1 comment :

dear anies said...

ni yg tetiba rs nk terjah nepal pula lps ni ;-) thanks 4 sharing

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