Wordtravels

Wordtravels

Bhaktapur

Bhaktapur © Alexander Shafir
Bhaktapur © Alexander Shafir

Also known as the City of Devotees, Bhaktapur lies just 22 miles (35km) east of Kathmandu. The wealth of fabulous architectural showpieces, soaring pagodas, richly ornamented houses, and medieval layout is testament to the period when the city was the capital of the Kathmandu Valley during the 14th and 16th centuries.

The whole town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site filled with palaces, temples, statues, and squares, connected by a maze of largely pedestrian streets. The main Durbar Square boasts many architectural attractions, including the Golden Gate, the 15th-century Palace of 55 Windows, and several statues of ancient kings.

Taumadhi Square is presided over by the elegant Nyatpola Temple. Sitting atop a five-story platform, Nyatpola is the tallest pagoda temple in the Kathmandu Valley. Bhaktapur is also the centre of traditional pottery and weaving industries in the region.

Visiting Bhaktapur is like stepping back in time, with its largely preserved ancient traditions, frequent colourful festivals and a meticulously restored cityscape. Visitors to this magnificent ancient city are required to pay a fairly steep entry fee, after which it's possible to stay in the city for up to a week.

Transport: Bus (45 minutes) or taxi from Kathmandu.

Admission: Foreigners are charged an entrance fee of about NRS 1,500.