Imagine walking into a church straight from a pub. That is how you will feel at Bhaktapur (City of Devotees), which is just under 20 km from the bustling Kathmandu. It oozes a vintage charm that gets you hooked instantly.
As the name suggests, this is a city of temples (Buddhist and Hindu) and devotees. Life is simple here and the people easy-going. At Bhaktapur, you will also be motivated to take things easy and go with the flow. You might be surprised to learn how simple is it to let go and be carefree.
And our carefully collated selection of authentic experiences lets you enjoy the best of Bhaktapur.
Work With Clay and Wood
Food tastes better when cooked in clay pots. Try it for yourself. And if you are game, then why not make those wares too? Well, you are in luck because Bhaktapur is renowned for its pottery tradition. Visit one of the many master potters in the city and spend the day watching him work and learning the craft.
Since you’ve been initiated in the art of pottery, you can add one more skill in your anvil. Woodwork is another traditional occupation of Bhaktapur. There are families of sculptors who practice this art. Some of them have added a modern twist to the tried and tested styles. Take a day to observe one of these craftsmen mould a piece of wood into a thing of beauty. Get some pointers and try something yourself too. It’s exciting, we promise.
The Spirit of Devotion
Temples and shrines – big and small – are strewn all over this city. You can try and take a count, and it would seem endless. The devotion of Bhaktapur’s people is infectious. Even if you are not spiritual, give bhakti (devotion) a chance, at least for the cultural experience.
Visit temples (Buddhist and Hindu), attend pujas or blessing ceremonies, and try singing hymns along with the devotees. Do not be surprised if you caught in the midst of religious procession. Just join the group, clap your hands, sing along or repeat the chants.
Also try not to miss the chance to catch a glimpse of Kumari, The Living Goddess. It’s a rare occurrence. This is a unique facet of Nepali culture, which is also a beacon of harmony between Hinduism and Buddhism. The cultural quality of these experiences is reason enough to join in.
Heritage Walk Through Historic Lanes
With religion and arts done, soak in some history. Bhaktapur has a bevvy of historic sites and structures that attract visitors in droves. The city was the abode of various ruling dynasties of Nepal. And it preserves the palaces and buildings of that bygone era.
We suggest taking a walk through the city to explore its intriguing past and how it still holds sway in this time and age. Every nook and cranny of Bhaktapur has a story to tell and a sight hold. It could very well be one of the best cultural and historic experiences you’ve ever had.