Patan is located only 7.8 km (4.8 miles) south-east of Kathmandu city. It was originally called Lalitpur, City of Fine Arts. It is situated on a little plateau across the river Bagmati river. This city is considered one of the oldest among the three cities of Kathmandu Valley. The city was founded in the 3rd century by King Veera Dev and has the distinction of being the home of the finest Newari craft. The finest Hindu and Buddhist monuments are scattered around but the most important monuments are in the Durbar Square or close by.

One interesting part of the architecture around Patan are the temples with erotic statues. There was one that I visited in Patan Durbar Square.

Nepal Patan durbar
Map from Ruby Tours & Travel

All pictures are © Dr. Günther Eichhorn, unless otherwise noted.

Patan Durbar Square

The Patan Durbar Square is one of the oldest. It was started by Siddhi Narsimha Malla (1620-1661). Patan Durbar Square is part of the Kathmandu Valley UNESCO World Heritage Site. On one side is the Royal Palace, on the other side are several temples dedicated to various Hindu deities.

View Patan Durbar Square
View of Patan Durbar Square. (800k)
Octagonal Krishna Temple Patan
Octagonal Krishna temple in Patan Durbar Square. (710k)
Big Taleju Bell Patan
Big Taleju Bell in Patan Durbar Square, rung only at festival time. (687k)
Harishankar Temple Patan Durbar
Harishankar Temple in Patan Durbar Square. (632k)
Vishnu Temple Patan Durbar
Vishnu Temple in Patan Durbar Square. (714k)
Vishwanath Temple Left Bhimsen
Vishwanath Temple (left) and Bhimsen Temple (right). (793k)

Jagannarayan Temple

The Jagannarayan Temple is dedicated to Narayan, one of the incarnations of Vishnu. It is probably from 1565, supposedly the oldest temple in Patan Durbar Square.

Jagannarayan Temple Dedicated Narayan
Jagannarayan Temple, dedicated to Narayan, one of the incarnations of Vishnu. (714k)
Erotic Wood Carvings Jagannarayan
Erotic wood carvings on the Jagannarayan Temple in Patan Durbar Square. (829k)
Erotic Wood Carvings Jagannarayan
Erotic wood carvings on the Jagannarayan Temple in Patan Durbar Square. (794k)
Erotic Wood Carvings Jagannarayan
Erotic wood carvings on the Jagannarayan Temple in Patan Durbar Square. (767k)
Erotic Wood Carvings Jagannarayan
Erotic wood carvings on the Jagannarayan Temple in Patan Durbar Square. (869k)
Erotic Wood Carvings Jagannarayan
Erotic wood carvings on the Jagannarayan Temple in Patan Durbar Square. (897k)
Erotic Wood Carvings Jagannarayan
Erotic wood carvings on the Jagannarayan Temple in Patan Durbar Square. (817k)
Erotic Wood Carvings Jagannarayan
Erotic wood carvings on the Jagannarayan Temple in Patan Durbar Square. (780k)
Erotic Wood Carvings Jagannarayan
Erotic wood carvings on the Jagannarayan Temple in Patan Durbar Square. (930k)
Colorful Shiva Statue Fountain
Colorful Shiva statue and fountain next to the Jagannarayan Temple in Patan Durbar Square. (875k)

Krishna Temple

The Krishna temple on the west side of Patan's Durbar square was built in 1637. Legend says that it was built because of a dream. One night, King Siddhi Narasimha Malla dreamed that the gods Krishna and Radha were standing in front of the palace. The King ordered a temple built on the same spot. During a war with a neighboring kingdom a decade later, the King emerged victorious after calling on Krishna to vanquish his enemies. In gratitude, the King built a replica of the temple inside the Sundari Chok courtyard.

The Krishna temple is built in the Shikhara style. Beneath its 21 golden pinnacles are three floors. The first floor enshrines Krishna, the second Shiva, and the third Lokeshwor. Scenes from the Ramayana narrated in Newari script decorate the interior of the temple.

Krishna Temple Patan Durbar
Krishna Temple in Patan Durbar Square. (680k)
Column Garuda Front Krishna
Column with the Garuda in front of the Krishna Temple in Patan Durbar Square, with the Vishwanath temple behind it. (746k)
Close-up Garuda Front Krishna
Close-up of the Garuda in front of the Krishna Temple in Patan Durbar Square. (508k)
Krishna Temple Patan Durbar
Krishna Temple in Patan Durbar Square. (801k)
Krishna Temple Patan Durbar
Krishna Temple in Patan Durbar Square. (853k)
Details Lintel Carvings Garuda
Details of lintel carvings with a Garuda in the center in Patan Durbar Square. (883k)
Close-up Roof Decoration Shiva
Close-up of the roof decoration with the Shiva Trident. (581k)

Vishwanath Temple

Vishwanath temple is dedicated to god Shiva. It was built in 1627 during the reign of Siddhinarasimha Malla. The roof supports are decorated with erotic carvings similar to imagery widespread in Shiva temples in India. The temple is guarded by two stone elephants in the front entrance. On the other side of the temple is the sculpture of a bull, Shiva's vehicle. A stone lingam is enshrined inside the temple.

Vishwanath Temple Patan Durbar
Vishwanath Temple in Patan Durbar Square. (631k)
Details Vishwanath Temple Patan
Details of the Vishwanath Temple in Patan Durbar Square. (828k)
Details Wood Carvings Vishwanath
Details of the wood carvings in the Vishwanath Temple in Patan Durbar Square. (890k)
Details Wood Carvings Vishwanath
Details of the wood carvings in the Vishwanath Temple in Patan Durbar Square. (758k)
Elephant Statue Front Vishwanath
Elephant statue in front of the Vishwanath Temple in Patan Durbar Square. (792k)
Shiva Shrine Vishwanath Temple
Shiva shrine on the Vishwanath Temple. (971k)
Shiva Shrine Vishwanath Temple
Shiva shrine on the Vishwanath Temple. (950k)

Bhimsen Temple

Bhimsen temple was built by Srinivasa Malla in 1680. It is renowned for its three interconnected golden windows. Bhimsen is a great hero in Mahabharata. He was known to be very brave and strong. In Newa Tradition, he is worshiped as a god of business and trade.

Bhimsen Temple Patan Durbar
Bhimsen Temple in Patan Durbar Square. (726k)
Detail Bhimsen Temple Patan
Detail of the Bhimsen Temple in Patan Durbar Square. (923k)

Royal Palace

Royal Palace Patan Durbar
Royal Palace in Patan Durbar Square. (799k)
Close-up Statue King Yoga
Close-up of the statue of King Yoga Narendra Malla, in Namaste, worshiping the Goddess Taleju in front of the Royal Palace in Patan Durbar Square. (627k)
Taleju Temple Inside Courtyard
The Taleju temple from inside the courtyard of the Royal Palace in Patan Durbar Square. (727k)
Royal Palace Patan Durbar
Royal Palace in Patan Durbar Square. (775k)
Golden Ornament Over Entrance
Golden ornament over the entrance to the Royal Palace in Patan Durbar Square, with the Goddess Taleju in the center, Lord Shiva on the right and Lord Ganesha on the left. (950k)
Stone-carved Lion Royal Palace
Stone-carved lion in the Royal Palace in Patan Durbar Square. (834k)
Gilded Decoration Royal Palace
Gilded decoration in the Royal Palace in Patan Durbar Square. (886k)
Wood Carved Door Royal
Wood carved door in the Royal Palace in Patan Durbar Square. (968k)
Details Wood Carved Door
Details of the wood carved door in the Royal Palace in Patan Durbar Square. (1039k)
Wooden Support Column Royal
Wooden support column in the Royal Palace in Patan Durbar Square. (857k)
Detail Wooden Support Column
Detail of the wooden support column in the Royal Palace in Patan Durbar Square. (920k)
Decorated Wooden Roof Support
Decorated wooden roof support in Patan Durbar Square. (789k)
Wood Carved Ganesha Wooden
Wood carved Ganesha on one of the wooden support column in the Royal Palace in Patan Durbar Square. (812k)
Gilded Door Royal Palace
Gilded door in the Royal Palace in Patan Durbar Square. (1030k)
Gilded Statue Royal Palace
Gilded statue in the Royal Palace in Patan Durbar Square. (878k)
Gilded Statue Royal Palace
Gilded statue in the Royal Palace in Patan Durbar Square. (931k)
Blood Stains Steps Royal
Blood stains on steps in the Royal Palace in Patan Durbar Square from animal sacrifices during the recent Dashain Festival. (724k)
Manga Hiti Well Royal
Manga Hiti, the well of the Royal Palace. in Patan Durbar Square. (850k)

Hiranya Varna Nahabihar (Golden Temple)

Also known as the Hiranya Varna or Suwarna Mahavihara, this unique Buddhist monastery is just north of Durbar Sq. Legends relate that the monastery was founded in the 12th century, although the earliest record of its existence is 1409. The doorway, flanked by gaudy painted guardian lions, gives no hint of the magnificent structure within.

In the courtyard is a small temple called Swayambhunath (literally self created God), which is a replica of the original Swayambhunath Stupa of Kathmandu.

The main priest in the Golden Temple is always a boy age 12 year or younger. He serves for one month, and is then replaced by a new boy.

One of the symbols in the temple is the Vajra, the Thunderbolt, the symbol of male power. It sits on top of a Lotus flower, the symbol of wisdom and purity. Close by is the large bell, the symbol of female power.

The small temple has bronze figures around it, one for each month.

Entrance Golden Temple Patan
Entrance to the Golden Temple in Patan, flanked by a male and a female lion sculpture. (854k)
Kalachakra Mandala Carved Into
A Kalachakra mandala carved into the ceiling in the Golden Temple in Patan. (1171k)
Entrance Golden Temple Patan
Entrance to the Golden Temple in Patan. (928k)
Main Golden Temple Patan
Main Golden Temple in Patan. (860k)
Details Main Golden Temple
Details on the main Golden Temple in Patan. (999k)
Door Inner Sanctum Golden
Door to the inner sanctum of the Golden Temple in Patan. (979k)
Door Inner Sanctum Golden
Door to the inner sanctum of the Golden Temple in Patan. (1095k)
Small Temple Called Swayambhunath
The small temple called Swayambhunath in the center courtyard in the Golden Temple in Patan. (816k)
Roof Decoration Small Temple
Roof decoration on the small temple in Patan. (673k)
Entry Inner Courtyard Golden
Entry to the inner courtyard in the Golden Temple in Patan, flanked by elephant statues. (933k)
Statue Inner Courtyard Golden
Statue in the inner courtyard in the Golden Temple in Patan. (826k)
Prayer Drums Monkey Statue
Prayer drums and a monkey statue in the inner courtyard in the Golden Temple in Patan. (800k)
Close-up Monkey Statue Golden
Close-up of the monkey statue in the Golden Temple in Patan. (817k)
Vajra Thunderbolt Symbol Male
The Vajra, the Thunderbolt, symbol of male power in the Golden Temple in Patan. (676k)
Close-up Vajra Thunderbolt Golden
Close-up of the Vajra, the Thunderbolt in the Golden Temple in Patan. (926k)
Large Bell Symbol Female
The large bell, symbol of female power in the Golden Temple in Patan. (791k)
Padmanritya Lokeshwor First Month
Padmanritya Lokeshwor, the first month in the Golden Temple in Patan. (873k)
Hari Hari Haribahana Lokeshwor
Hari Hari Haribahana Lokeshwor, the second month in the Golden Temple in Patan. (790k)
Trailokya Lokeshwor Third Month
Trailokya Lokeshwor, the third month in the Golden Temple in Patan. (880k)
Rakta Lokeshwor Fourth Month
Rakta Lokeshwor, the fourth month in the Golden Temple in Patan. (810k)
Nilakantha Lokeshwor Fifth Month
Nilakantha Lokeshwor, the fifth month in the Golden Temple in Patan. (844k)
Mayajala Lokeshwor Sixth Month
Mayajala Lokeshwor, the sixth month in the Golden Temple in Patan. (796k)
Karandabyuha Lokeshwor Seventh Month
Karandabyuha Lokeshwor, the seventh month in the Golden Temple in Patan. (785k)
Khadchheri Lokeshwor Eighth Month
Khadchheri Lokeshwor, the eighth month in the Golden Temple in Patan. (864k)
Mal Lokeshwor Ninth Month
Mal Lokeshwor, the ninth month in the Golden Temple in Patan. (943k)
Halahala Lokeshwor Tenth Month
Halahala Lokeshwor, the tenth month in the Golden Temple in Patan. (948k)
Khasparna Lokeshwor Eleventh Month
Khasparna Lokeshwor, the eleventh month in the Golden Temple in Patan. (956k)
Shimhanada Lokeshwor Twelfth Month
Shimhanada Lokeshwor, the twelfth month in the Golden Temple in Patan. (892k)
Bronze Buddha Statue Golden
Bronze Buddha statue in the Golden Temple in Patan. (785k)
Bronze Statue Hindu Goddess
Bronze statue of a Hindu goddess Parvati. (859k)

Kumbheshwor Temple

This large, 5-story, Pagoda style temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is from the 14th century.

Kumbheshwor Temple Patan
Kumbheshwor Temple in Patan. (655k)
Kumbheshwor Temple Patan
Kumbheshwor Temple in Patan. (663k)
Statue Nandi Bull Vehicle
Statue of Nandi, the bull, vehicle of Shiva at the Kumbheshwor Temple in Patan. It is protected in a cage. Apparently, art theft is a big problem in Nepal. (1010k)
Garudanarayan Stature Lord Vishnu
Garudanarayan, a stature of Lord Vishnu (with the Gada, the Mace, and the Chakra, the spinning disk) and Garuda, his vehicle at the Kumbheshwor Temple in Patan. (955k)
Statue Lord Vishnu Kumbheshwor
Statue of Lord Vishnu at the Kumbheshwor Temple in Patan, holding a Padma (lotus flower), a Gada (mace), a Shanka (conch shell) and Chakra (a spinning disk weapon). (802k)
Stone Garuda Namaste Ritual
A stone Garuda in Namaste, the ritual greeting, at the Kumbheshwor Temple in Patan. (743k)

Bangalamukhi Temple

This temple is dedicated to the Goddess Bangalamukhi, an incarnation of the Goddess Parvati. It caught fire and was subsequently rebuilt by King Birendra in 1998. King Birendra was killed in the Royal Massacre on 1 June 2001.

Bangalamukhi Temple Patan
The Bangalamukhi Temple in Patan. (818k)
Statue Tiger Vehicle Parvati
A statue of a tiger, the vehicle of Parvati, at the Bangalamukhi Temple in Patan. (715k)
Lord Vishnu Bangalamukhi Temple
Lord Vishnu at the Bangalamukhi Temple in Patan, playing the flute and herding cows. (727k)
Small Shiva Shrine Nearby
A small Shiva shrine nearby the Bangalamukhi Temple in Patan. Shiva is the consort of Parvati. (770k)
Shiva Lingam Bangalamukhi Temple
A Shiva Lingam near the Bangalamukhi Temple in Patan. (682k)

Patan

This section shows pictures of various temples and shrines in Patan around Patan Durbar Square.

Small Shiva Temple Patan
A small Shiva temple in Patan. (935k)
Nandi Bull Vehicle Shiva
Nandi, the bull, the vehicle of Shiva in front of a Shiva temple in Patan. It is guarded by two painted lions. I rarely saw painted sculptures, most were just stone of wood. (776k)
Small Vishnu Temple Patan
A small Vishnu temple in Patan. (769k)
Garuda Vehicle Vishnu Front
The Garuda, the vehicle of Vishnu, in front of the Vishnu temple in Patan. You can see from the fresh decorations that it is actively worshiped. (1041k)
Small Ganesha Shrine Patan
A small Ganesha shrine in Patan, decorated with flowers and red paint. (1010k)
Small Shrine Patan Outside
A small shrine in Patan, just outside Durbar Square with beautiful colored tiles with pictures of various Hindu Gods. (904k)
Goddess Saraswati Goddess Knowledge
Goddess Saraswati, the Goddess of Knowledge, with the Sitar and a book. (818k)
Goddess Lakshmi Consort Vishnu
Goddess Lakshmi, the consort of Vishnu. (863k)
God Ganesha God Beginnings
God Ganesha, the God of Beginnings and Remover of Obstacles. (817k)
Lord Shiva Destroyer
Lord Shiva, the Destroyer. (782k)
Lord Vishnu Protector
Lord Vishnu, the Protector. (816k)

Filming in Patan Durbar Square

While I visited Patan Durbar Square, there was a film production going on with actors in traditional Newari dresses. Here are a few pictures.

Patan Durbar Square Film
Patan Durbar Square with the film crew. (759k)
Actors Haku Patasi Traditional
Actors in Haku Patasi, the traditional Newari dress in Patan Durbar Square. (668k)
Singing Actress Traditional Haku
Singing actress in traditional Haku Patasi dress in Patan Durbar Square. (658k)
Close-up Singing Actress Patan
Close-up of the singing actress in Patan Durbar Square. (696k)

This page contains 106 pictures

Nepal
Main page for नेपाल (Nepal)

Page last updated on Tue Sep 24 18:19:03 2019 (Mountain Standard Time)


Patan on aerobaticsweb.org


© Dr. Günther Eichhorn
Retired
Email Guenther Eichhorn

*Dr. Günther Eichhorn Travel Website
*Soaring website