Patan

Patan is the second largest of the tri-cities of Kathmandu valley. It is a medieval city that bore witness to the rise and fall of numerous regimes and kingdoms. Flush with intricate wood carvings, traditional sculptures, terra-cotta deities, tiered Hindu temples with red trims on its yellow brass roofs, red mud houses with tiled hats slung low over their windows, here is an exceptionally well preserved slice of history. Specifically the Patan Durbar Square next to the busy marketplace of Mangal Bazaar with its royal palace, open courtyards, brick tiled streets, temples with wooden pavilions and stone balconies are a visual treat. With more temples, patis and architecture here per sq meter than both Kathmandu and Bhaktapur, it is truly a city of the arts and crafts. Take a pleasant walk through the back alleys of Patan Dhoka and Sotha to the heart of the royal square past dhungedharas with stone steps leading down to exquisitely carved stone taps that was the main source of water in the city in past times, crumbling old houses with carved wooden windows and low hinged doors, galleries selling local art and paintings and shops selling fabrics by meters.  This is the city’s ancient trade hub and today, still remains the centre of furious bargaining.