A place in Nepal where history still breathes and strives is the old heritage town of Bhaktapur. Life here unfolds into an incredibly rich cultural and architectural legacy simply made of metal, wood, and stone with the houses hued in uniformly rustic red!
Namasté she said with a smile as I entered the lion’s gate of Bhaktapur through the red cobblestone alleyways! The woman lit the diya (Oil lamp) on the sideway invoking the sense of oneness in me which is deep-rooted in every soul. This city of art and culture bespeaks ancient mystics where every day is a festival and every house is a temple.
The moment you enter the city, various shapes and sizes of temples invoke the essence of the place. From Newari pagoda to Shikhara to a much-famed replica of Pashupatinath, every nook and corner is worth visiting. Here the cluster of temples and palatial buildings is referred to as the Durbar Square. Bhaktapur has four Durbar Square; The main famed Bhaktapur Durbar Square, Taumadhi Square, Dattatreya Square, and Pottery Square. Of all these Bhaktapur Durbar Square holds on-goes attention as this is the main attraction in Bhaktapur. It mainly houses a 55-window palace, Royal Palace, the golden gates, and the Taleju Bhabani temple complex. Interestingly, on a few occasions, the Kumari - living goddess of Nepal, makes an appearance for the public from one of the windows. Generally, the entry to the palace is closed for the visitors. Taleju Bhabani temple complex is known for sacrificing buffalo and goats. I could see the fresh droppings and the blood.
Don’t miss to get photo-framed in front of an insta-famous spot, the Nag Pokhri; a royal bathing setup bordered around with a King Kobra. Your eyes will also notice the octagonal monument shaped after pagoda houses the big bell or the barking bell. (Image dogs start barking with the bell here)
Unfortunately, the year 2015 wrecked the Bhaktapur city by a massive earthquake dashing some ancient structure to the ground. Though a handful of old massive temples defied the shock and still standing tall.