Patan (Lalitpur)

Located about 5 km south of Kathmandu, Patan is one of the three royal cities in the valley. Patan a destination for connoisseurs of fine arts, Patan is filled with wood and stone carvings, metal statues, and ornate architecture, including dozens of Buddhist and Hindu temples, and over 1200 monuments.

Patan is believed to have been built in the third century B.C. by the Kirat dynasty later expanded and enriched by the Lichhavi and the Malla rulers in the medieval period. Patan Durbar Square, like its counterpart in Kathmandu, is an enchanting mélange of palace buildings, artistic courtyards, and graceful pagoda temples. The former royal palace complex is the center of Patan’s religious and social life and houses a beautiful museum.

Places to see in Patan

Patan Durbar Square:

This durbar square has many famous sites and unique architecture. Krishna Mandir, Bhimsen temple, and Hiranya Varna Mahahihar are just a few of the temples offering you an ecstasy of; paintings, wood, and metal carvings.

The Sundari Chowk contains exquisite samples of woodcarvings, stone, and metal sculptures. Patan Duar Square and the Himalayas which can be seen at a distance make an enchanting scene. A half-day sightseeing tour of Patan city is highly recommended.

Patan Museum:

It offers an opportunity to view remaining of the ancient palace of Malla kings, and some of the most beautiful wood and stone carving works in the world. The museum covers the long history and living traditions of Nepal and is a must-see for tourists to learn more about Nepali craftsmanship and traditions.

Krishna Mandir:

A king dreams of God Krishna and Goddess Radha standing in front of a temple. The next day, turning dreams into a reality, a finest stone wrought monument is born! The Krishna temple located on the west side of the Patan Durbar Square was built in 1637 by king Siddhi Narasimha Malla.

The temple holds a great position in the Patan palace, it is also the only temple in Nepal that has 21 shrines and is completely made of stone, and fine carvings. The temple has three floors, Krishna, Shiva, and Lokeshwor are enshrined on the first, second, and third floors respectively.

During  Krishnastami, lord Krishna’s birthday, the temple is the destination of thousands of worshippers from around the country. The temple is beautifully lighted by thousands of oil lamps during the festival.

Maha Bouddha:

The temple is dedicated to Gautam Buddha. The temple was built by Pandit Abhaya Raj, a Buddhist architect, and the more interesting thing about the temple is that every single rock has Buddha engraved in it. There are nearly one thousand rocks of Buddha in the temple!

Hiranya Varna Mahavihar:

This three-storeyed golden pagoda is located about 650 feet from Patan Durbar Square. It has images of the lord Buddha and large prayer wheels. The pagoda is also known as Kwa Bahal or Suwarna Mahavihar or Golden temple.


A good five-storeyed temple in the valley portraying fine arts. An annual festival is held here once every year.

Jagat Narayan Temple:

A temple of Lord Vishnu, made of red rocks. It has fine images of stone and an artistic metal statue of Garuda on a stone pillar.

Rudra Varna Mahavihar:

A Buddhist monastery containing a collection of images and statues in stone, wood, and metal, and also the treasures offered by the king’s devotees. In ancient times, Nepal’s kings were crowned in this monastery.

Ashoka Stupas:

Stupas known to have been built in 250 BC by emperor Ashoka are located in Pulchowk, Lagankehl, Eahil, and in Teat all of which act as evidence of this city’s ancient religious importance.

Machhendra Nath:

Also known as Avalokiteshowr and Adinath Lokeshwor, is a pagoda that is housed here in Patan every six months each year and plays an important role in keeping the ancient traditions alive.


Situated at the foothills of Phulchoki, this place is surrounded by gardens and flowers. It is an ideal place for picnics and hangouts for the people of Kathmandu valley


10 km away from Patan, this 2759 meters high spot is good for hiking. The Gurans flower (Rhododendrons) of white to dark red can be seen here.