Dattatraya Square is the oldest square among the four charming squares of Bhaktapur.
For the reason that it is situated quite far from the Bhaktapur Durbar Square, most people prefer to visit this place at least. However, being the ultimate square to be visited too, it again gives a bunch of surprises to its visitors. This square is named after the Dattatraya temple, where Dattatraya, a part of the trinity is worshipped.
As the other squares of Bhaktapur, this sort of place is also filled with minor and major temples. If you walk north from this temple, you’ll see a Salan Ganesh temple and behind it a giant manmade pond dedicated to Lord Ganesh. The pond is called Ganesh pokhari.
Within the area of Dattatraya Square, there are three more temples that hold both cultural and religious paramount. Among them, this Salan Ganesh Temple has immense importance. During different festivals and events like Gai jatra, the temple is embraced by the devotees.
The temple holds an image of Lord Ganesh, but, yes, it is not a sculpture. And that thing makes it quite unique from others. The image is rooted in a natural stone that has a symbolic form of Ganesha or the elephant-headed image. The Salan Ganesh is also sub-titled as the Adhi Ganesh among the asta Ganesh. Sumerialy, it dates back to 1654.
The pond behind the Salan Ganesha Temple is said to be dedicated to the temple. That’s why it is named the Ganesha pokhari. Some people somehow also called it Yatachhen pukhu. Consequently, the eve made this pond fill with young people as well as the old ones.
There is another temple in front of the Dattatraya temple, named after the bhimsen temple. Bhimsen is said to be the god of trade.
There are still several temples and heritage sites in Bhaktapur which has no evidence of their existence. Yet, they are standing in front of us, secreting their history somewhere else. No one accurately knows about it. In those dusting and busts, the erection of the Bhimsen temple also got faded.
Somehow, archaeologists presume, it was erected in 1605 CE. This two-floored rectangular pagoda locates right in front of the Dattatreya Temple. Plus, it was renovated lately, by the year 2018.
As the name of the temple assumes, it is the temple of lord Bhimsen. Bhimsen, a god with a red face, angry eyes, and a thick dark moustache. He is worshipped as the god of trade and commerce. Perhaps, because of that, every household has had its portrait, especially in the Kathmandu Valley.
With the temple, a conduit is attached, right in its back. That is a conduit but it is denoted as a pond. That’s why that conduit is called Bhimsen pokhari. Meanwhile, there are no shreds of evidence about this conduit too.
An ever-closed small temple of the premises of Dattatraya temple is the temple of Laxmi Narayan Temple. The temple is dedicated to Lord Narayan and Goddess Laxmi. The temple locates in the northern core of the square.
These temples had their consequences, besides these temples, two more things made this square so valuable, The woodcarving museum and the brass and bronze museum.
These museums have a large collection of woodcarvings as well as metal craftsmanship of the ancient Bhaktapur kingdom respectively.
The museum next to the woodcarving museum was also math. The then math, which is now representing a bunch of cases, is all related to the metalwork. And it comes under the name of Brass and Bronze Museum. However, one can enter this museum with the same ticket bought either in the National Art Gallery or the Woodcarving Museum.
The museum is filled with ancient exemplars. Just like the other museum does. But, it significantly has preserved the traditional metalworks. That includes the ceremonial lamps as well as the ritual vessels, which also make it unique from others. In some summon, it is also facing the problems of weaker lighting means.
The then pujari math of Tachupal Chowk now is a more renowned museum of Bhaktapur. The wood carving museum, which originally came into existence during the reign of King Yakshya Malla. With the most epigraphic temple of Bhaktapur, The Dattatraya Temple.
After the blessing of King Yakshya Malla, it was by some means rebuilt in 1763. And again renovated by the German experts as the wedding gift to the then King Birendra in 1979.
The peacock window, being the most alluring woodcraft from the 15th century, even today made us come for it. A narrow street facing south leads to this masterpiece. However, it also had to face adversity like catching fire.
The museum, of course, with the dark rooms and brazen woodcraft showcases the then wood carvings. Nearby, there are some mini souvenir shops with miniature wooden peacock windows. And the brass and bronze museum to share the ticket, for instance. However, the earthquake of 2015 made the museum quite terrible.
But, it’s worthy enough to widen your eyes for the classics.
There is again one spectacular thing left behind in all these things, the very famous peacock window. You need to adopt a narrow street to reach that place, where you can slacken and peacefully adore the decorative window. Don’t get confused, it’s in the same building as a woodcarving museum.
All you need to do is get out of the museum, then head east, passing the souvenir shop just turn right. And there you go. Cheer your chin up and there is it, the world-famous peacock window.
Dattatraya temple is one of the oldest temples of Bhaktapur which dates back to the 14th century. And, it is the central attraction of the Square.
The temple is way more unique. Though it is the only temple of Dattatraya in Nepal, it also is acclaimed for its significant architecture. Devotees from all around the nation come and worship there.
Dattatraya Square is famous for the sole Dattatraya temple, the woodcarving museum, Brass and Bronze Museum, the peacock window and the pujari maths.
Today’s Dattatraya Square was and still is called as Tachapal tole by the local residents.
Dattatraya means the combined form of the three most fascinating deities of the Hindu religion. They are Bramha (the creator), Vishnu (the protector) and Maheshwor (the destroyer)
Yes, there are plenty of restaurants at Dattatraya Square that serve newari dishes.
Dattatraya temple was built during the 14th century. As per the book, Illustrated Biography of Lord Duttatreya And His 24 Mentors, this temple was built in Nepal Sambat 590 (1470 A.D.) and was only single-storeyed then.
However, it is mentioned that the temple was opened for the public onward 1486 A.D, only after the demise of King Yakshya Malla, of course, before the reconstruction made by King Raya Malla (the son of King Yakshya Malla). He made it more attractive by adding stories to it in Nepal Sambat 615 (1495 A.D).
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Dattatreya, Bhaktapur Municipality, Bhaktapur District, Nepal.