Located approximately 16 kilometres east of Kathmandu, Bhaktapur is a vibrant city in Nepal. It is one of the three royal cities nestled in the Kathmandu Valley. Bhaktapur is a rich landscape of terracotta, with vast shrines and monuments, carved sculptures, palaces and temples. Surrounded by mountains, Bhaktapur offers visitors incredible views of the breathtaking Himalayas.
Bhaktapur is architecturally very beautiful, renowned for its elegant art, colourful festivals and mesmerising temples, it is a sight to behold. The city has more temples per square metre than neighbouring cities, Kathmandu and Patan. Venture to Bhaktapur Durbar Square where the ancient palace houses the National Art Gallery. Nyatapola Temple in Taumadhi Square is home to the country’s tallest pagoda temple. The delicate craftsmanship and intricate carvings can be admired, as Bhaktapur is also famous for its pottery. Visitors will find locally made ceramics displayed in front of quaint shops and outside homes. Handmade jewellery and metalwork and a traditional form of painting called “Thanka” can also be found throughout the city. Visitors interested in sampling authentic Nepalese cuisine can try Bhaktapur’s famous curd. It can’t be found anywhere else in Nepal. Energetic visitors preparing for treks in the Himalayas can keep up their fitness regime by mountain biking, and several famous cycling routes surround Bhaktapur.
Once in Bhaktapur, the only way to experience the squares and dusty lanes is on foot. No taxis, tuk-tuks or rickshaws are allowed within the city. On the plus side, the clean air makes it a pleasure to explore. Buses and taxis from Kathmandu, Patan and other outlying areas operate to the main city entrance gate.
The name Bhaktapur translates to “Place of Devotees”. It was founded in the 12th century when the city spent time as capital of Greater Malla Kingdom. With over 80,000 inhabitants, Bhaktapur is home to indigenous Newar people, who speak a distinctly different dialect. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the city is known for its fascinating culture, abundance of temples and its stone, metal and wood artwork.