Bhaktapur Durbar Square which is also known as a museum of medieval art and architecture is a rich treasure of sculpture, woodcarving and colossal pagoda temples consecrated to different gods and goddesses.
The square which is one of the most enchanting and mesmerizing architectural showpieces in the Kathmandu valley highlights the ancient arts of Nepal.
The square is hardly 15 km far away from Kathmandu. It is a conglomeration of pagoda and shikhara-style temples grouped around a fifty-five window palace of brick and wood.
The wonderful things to see here include the golden effigies of kings perched on the top of stone monoliths, the guardian deities peeking out from their sanctuaries.
The ancient wood carvings in every place-struts, lintels, uprights, gateways and windows-all seem to form a well-orchestrated symphony. In addition to it the pottery and weaving are its traditional craftmanship to observe here which continues to thrive here among the local Newari people who are the major contributors in retaining this ancient craft and art.
55 Window Palace
55 window palace found here is the main architectural structure dominating the entire Durbar Square premises for which hundreds and thousands of tourists every year arrive here to see it with curiosity and wonder.
The magnificent monument of 55 window palace was built in 15th century AD. King Bhupatindra Malla can be seen here seated on the top of a huge column in praying position to God.
The golden gate is the main entry point to this palace. The eternal beauty of art and craft pieces used on this wonderful gate must have descended from heaven. So, significant and valuable are the arts and crafts used here.
Lion’s gate comprises two beautiful stone statues that represent Hindu deities which are installed on either side. It is believed that the artisan who used art and craft skills to make this incredible stone statue was maimed as his hands were cut off immediately after he finished the statue.
The orders to cut off artisan’s hands were given by a jealous Bhadgaon King. The artisan after this gruesome incident could not produce any more arts and crafts.
Mini Pashupati Temple
Mini Pashupati Temple which is also known as the royal dream temple is another wonderful monument to visit here. Legend has it that once a Bhadgaon King was a staunch devotee of Lord Pashupati. In his dream Lord Pashupati told the Bhadgaon king to build a temple in the name of Pashupati right in front of the palace. The king immediately acted upon his dream.
Vatsala temple which is entirely dedicated to a mother goddess is full of intricate artistic works on stone. The temple is also known for its dog barking bell as well. The bell is believed to produce death sound when it is rung.
Nyatapola Temple is the most popular pagoda in Nepal. In Newari terms, it means fie tires that stand for symbolic five basic elements. It is also the highest pagoda of Nepal ever built with such architectural perfection and finishing touch of artistic beauty. The temple is dedicated to Sidhilaxmi, the tantric goddess of supreme power and success.
Bhairab Nath Temple
Bhairava Nath Temple is dedicated to Bhairava the God of terror and death.
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