We flew back to Kathmandu and after visiting the sights of Patan, one of the 4 ancient cities of Kathmandu valley, then we drove on to Dhulikhel where we were staying for the next 2 nights. After landing at Kathmandu from Chitwan we had lunch in the old centre of Patan and viewed the sights. A lot of damage had been done there by the earthquake of 2015 but much has been restored and work continues. The city is famous for its metalwork which includes singing bronze bowls which can be used for musical meditation and therapy. We were given a demonstration of this with one of us volunteering to be the subject. More than one of us then departed with a bowl of their own.
Once, an independent and mighty kingdom of the Kathmandu Valley, Patan becamea melting pot of two influential religions, Hinduism, and Buddhism. The Krishna (Hindu) temple is situated in the middle of the town whose entire architecture was dedicated to the philosophy of the Buddhist Dharma-Chakra (Wheel of Righteousness).
Despite Patan’s proximity to the capital city it has preserved its ancestral uniqueness. It is also known as Lalitpur, “City of Beauty”, and its unique Durbar Square, temples, alleys, cuisine, hospitality and religious tolerance justify the pre-historic status of the city. Patan contains 55 major temples, 136 Buddhist monasteries, and many fine metal works.
The Golden Temple (Hiranya Varna Mahavihar), built in the 12th Century by King Bhaskar Verma, is located just north of Durbar square. This three-roof Buddhist monastery is adorned with a golden facade, four large gateways, a clock tower, and two lion sculptures. Inside are golden images of Buddha, wall carvings, and a prayer wheel.
Just outside the Patan marketplace, the Rato (Red) Machhindranath Temple is dedicated to the god of rain and plenty. It has four doorways with intricate carvings, each with figures of lions, and statues of a variety of animals atop its pillars. Set into the base of the temple are prayer wheels. This temple is the site of the Rato Machhindranath celebrations, which include a parade with a temple chariot and end in a nearby village called Bungamati. This festival takes place during April and May every twelfth year.
Rudra Varna Mahavihar is a Buddhist monastery with a temple and a courtyard that has many fine wood, bronze and stone statues. Kings were crowned in this temple in ancient times.