A UNESCO World Heritage site, Bhaktapur is halfway between Kathmandu and Panauti. Although the impact of the 2015 earthquake is prominent, one cannot help but be encaptivated by the mystique of traditional Newari architecture found here.
Numerous temples were built in the states of Bhaktapur, Lalitpur, and Kathmandu during the 18th century including the Nyatapola Temple. The expansive five tier roof of the Nyatapola Temple is an unmissable sight for anyone visiting Bhaktapur. One can glance over the majestic views of the Taumudhi Square while standing under the arches of the temple after climbing the steps. This exquisite, pagoda-style edifice comprised of wood and brick, and adorned with magnificent carvings. The temple was named Nyatapola after the local Newari words for “five-stepped” (nyata) and “roof” (pola). Nyatapola is dedicated to Goddess Durga and the structure maintains associations with reincarnation of Lord Shiva.
Golden Gate of Bhaktapur is a sight to behold in the Darbar among the ruins of Bhaktapur. The entryway’s architecture is deeply detailed and intricate that opens to the courtyard of the royal palace. One of the aspects that makes Bhaktapur a must-visit is the sheer fact that one can experience and learn about the Newari culture here which is profoundly celebrated.
Exploring further ahead, one can move towards Potters’ Square where the craft can be witnessed in all its magnificence. Apart from all the breath-taking scenery and architectural beauty found in the temples of Nepal, the National Art Gallery is another place to visit to feed one’s artistic soul. All the magnificent collection of paintings and traditional artifacts found here speak volumes about the nation’s past.
Soul satiating homely meals is yet another major slow travel experinece here that is not easily found in other parts of Nepal. Samay Baji, an authentic Newari dish, is a must-try. It is a traditional dish that has been passed down through generations and comprises of many small bites. Another must-try is Juju Dhau, a local yogurt-also known as “King Curd”. The curd is very righteous to its name as it is made from buffalo milk and is served in clay pots at small shops all around the city. Since Bhaktapur has a strong sense of culture alignment, it is recommended one witnesses one of the most popular festivals of Bhaktapur, the Bisket Jatra. This festival attracts a large number of travelers from the world around the Nepali New Year and there is no reason why one must give it a miss to devoid oneself of a vibrant and colourful culture that Nepal exhibits.