"Patan the Ancient Capital of Nepal." Top 5 Page for this destination Patan by goutammitra

Patan Travel Guide: 93 reviews and 327 photos

Patan the Kingdom of Kirat Dynasty

Lalitpur is believed to have been founded in the third century B.C. by the Kirat dynasty and later expanded by Lichhavis in the sixth century. It was further expanded by the Mallas during the medieval period. There are many legends after its name. The most popular one is the legend of the God Rato Machhindranath, who was brought to the valley from Kamaru Kamachhya, located in Assam, India, by a group of three people representing three kingdoms of the Kathmandu Valley. One of them was called Lalit, a farmer who carried God Rato Machhindranath to the valley all the way from Assam, India. The purpose of bringing the God Rato Machhindranath to the valley was to overcome the worst drought in the valley. There was a strong belief that the God Rato Machhindranath will make rain in the valley. It was due to Lalit's effort that the God Rato Machhindranath was settled in Lalitpur. Many believe that the name of the town is kept after his name Lalit and pur meaning township.

Lalitpur said to have been founded by King Veer Deva in 299 A. D. but, there is unanimity among scholars that Patan was a well established and developed town since ancient times. Several historical records including many other legends also indicate that Patan is the oldest of all the cities of Kathmandu Valley. According to a very old Kirat chronicle, Patan was founded by Kirat rulers long before the Lichhavi rulers came into the political scene in Kathmandu Valley. According to that chronicle, the earliest known capital of Kirat rulers was Thankot. Kathmandu, the present capital was most possibly removed from Thankot to Patan after the Kirati King Yalamber came into power sometimes around second century A. D.

One of the most used and typical Newar names of Patan is Yala. It is said that King Yalamber named this city after himself and ever since this ancient city was known as Yala.

Patan City was planned in Vihars and Bahils. Out of 295 Vihars and Bahils of the valley 56% of them are in Patan. The water conduits, stone spouts, Jaladroni (water tanks), artistic gate ways, Hindu temples and Buddhist Vihars adorn the city. The in built cultural heritage like the royal palace, with intricately carved doors and windows and beautiful courtyards adorned with exquisite icons enhance the beauty of the city. Such art pieces are found in stone, metal, terracotta ivory and other objects. All these artefacts exhibit artistic excellence of the craftsmen and the whole city looks like an open museum.
The monument zone of Patan Durbar Square is one of the seven monument zone of Kathmandu Valley. The seven monument zones were included in the World Heritage List in 1979 as one integrated site. All these monument zones are declared as the protected monument zones according to the Monuments Preservation Act of 1956. For the restoration of public and private monument norms and standards determined by the Department of Archaeology as per the fixed norms of UNESCO/ICOMOS. Patan monument zone is marked by marker stone placed at different points in the delineated area. A plaque has been put with the sing of World Heritage Centre

  • Last visit to Patan: Sep 2007
  • Intro Updated Sep 28, 2007
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Reviews (15)

Comments (11)

  • lmkluque's Profile Photo
    Aug 14, 2013 at 4:46 AM

    Interesting page Goutam! Lovely photos. What a disappointment at the restaurant!

    • goutammitra's Profile Photo
      Aug 15, 2013 at 6:22 PM

      Thanks a lot Linda, for visiting my Patan page. Now there is very little tourist in Nepal due to unrest for several years.

  • Faiza-Ifrah's Profile Photo
    Sep 28, 2010 at 6:45 PM

    very nice pictures. so now you are ready for Egypt?

  • SLLiew's Profile Photo
    Jun 3, 2010 at 2:42 PM

    More fond memories. The architeture of the temples and durbar is really nice. SL :)

  • Yaqui's Profile Photo
    Oct 8, 2009 at 9:06 PM

    The architeture is so lovely and your photography is wonderful. Thanks for sharing a wonderful place.

  • lynnehamman's Profile Photo
    Feb 14, 2009 at 5:13 AM

    Lovely Page on Patan. Good tips and pictures! That Durbar Square looks interesting. The restuarant was a rip-off!

  • FruitLover's Profile Photo
    Aug 2, 2008 at 1:52 AM

    Beautiful place and pics, Goutam. I miss this part of the globe so much. Thanx for sharing. God Bless You! Avraham

  • mvtouring's Profile Photo
    Feb 15, 2008 at 2:37 AM

    Nepal is still on my wish list, but I will get there on day ;-)

  • besal's Profile Photo
    Oct 28, 2007 at 4:49 AM

    Once travelling in faroff area, we once ordered Egg-fried rice. WE got boiled rice, and boiled egg seperatly. Could be lost in translation. Anyway great tip/photos

  • monina_c's Profile Photo
    Oct 16, 2007 at 6:04 PM

    If I could, I would go to Patan just to see those friezes of the Ramayana and the Mahabharata Goutam! Thanks for sharing this!

  • mantru's Profile Photo
    Oct 6, 2007 at 12:16 AM

    i remember the place where i bought few arts stuff in patan..your pic reminded me of my days in kath.


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