Thimi: a 3000 years old city

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Thimi: a 3000 years old city image

Thimi simply is a blend of newari culture, tradition, art, and architecture. It is perfectly attached in between the three districts of the Kathmandu valley. Though this ancient town lies in the Bhaktapur district. It has a unique taste of culture and festivals.

By distance, it is only 12 km away from Kathmandu city. And it is also considered the fourth large city in the valley. Per the evidence, archaeologists say that this city is very old. They said that it was in existence for more than 3000 years. 

Although thimi is only 11.47 square kilometres in area, it covers the sub-villages of Capacho, Balkumari, Nagadesh, Bode, and Lokanthali. This tiny ancient burgh lies at an altitude of 1325m.

This city was called Madhyapur. The interesting fact is that we still call this place Madhyapur. Also the Madhyapur thimi. Besides that, thimi is a hometown for different deities. That includes the temple of Balkumari, Lokeshwar temple, Bhairab temple, Ganesh temple, Siddhi kali temple and many more.

Along with that, it owns various masked dances like Navadurga nach, Bhairava Naach, Peacock Dances, Salancha Naach, also the Radha Krishna Naach. Most of the people are newars in thimi. So, it’s obvious that there is a root of the newari culture in Thimi. 

Places to roam in and around Thimi

Balkumari temple

Balkumari temple is the most influential temple of Thimi, approximately 300 years and old. The mother goddess of the temple is the Balkumari goddess. She is also praised as the guardian of the city, thimi.  That’s why most of the important ceremonial rituals like marriage and barthabanda took place in the temple.

The temple is simply made out of a typical Nepalese flavour viz. three-story pagoda style. However, this pagoda structure is quite attractive to any other pagoda temple of Nepal. It has a bunch of large belts like things, Pataas hovering in front of the temple.

Balkumari temple of thimi

Balkumari temple of thimi

That promptly grabs the attention of any visitors. Similarly, it is formed in a brick-paved rectangular courtyard with additional temples. That includes the temple of Bhairav, another minor god and goddess, and a column of her vehicle, the peacock.

The name of this temple instantly strikes whenever there is a tittle-tattle about Biska Jatra. Yes, because this temple is foremost related to the vermilion festival, ordinarily known as Sindur Jatra. The jatra initially starts from this temple.

Lokeshwor Temple

Lokeshwor temple is also a bit of a place of interest. It is the temple that generally, most of the time got locked. Since there were practices attempted to steal the statue of the temple.  Nearby, there is a stupa and Vajra for further sightseeing.

lokeshwor temple

Lokeshwor temple

Siddhi Kali Temple

Bhaktapur outwardly not called the city of devotees. It certainly has a bunch of temples. And, they all seem vaguely important too. There comes then, the Siddhi Kali Temple amid in list of important temples. It is located in the northwest premises of Thimi. More specifically, it is located in Inayekwo. For that reason, it is also called Inayakwo Dyo.

This temple is both architecturally and religiously mattering. It has a traditional architectural look with the Patakas as in the Balkumari temple. Inside which, the statue of Shiddhi Kali, Ganesha, Nava Durga, and Bhairava was installed.

siddhi kali temple

Siddhi kali temple

Also, the Satah ( rest house), Multiple Falcha (Inns), Shrines of shiva, Saraswati, bhimsen, Vasundhara, and Budhha Chaitya, these surrounding make it a more religious place.

Thimi durbar ( Thimi Layaku)

Thimi durbar or the Thimi Layaku is not like other ordinary durbars, which have had historical importance. Despite that, it has more religious value. Rather than any art and architectural significance. Layaku Bhairav Dance, one of the most adored traditional dance of Nepal, that initially took place at the Thimi durbar.

Thimi layaku courtyard under construction

Thimi layaku courtyard under construction

That then continues for four more days. Similarly, the Balkumari Jatra, which people celebrate during Biska Jatra, is also absorbed in this durbar. Moreover, it has the same value as the other palaces in terms of Taleju puja.

Pottery Squares

Thimi is more famous for pottery crafts and squares than the Bhaktapur Nagar. Most of the people having the Prajapati caste do this sort of work. Also, they trade these crafts. Within the thimi area also, places like Chapacho, Nasanani, Tulanani, Kumanani, Wachunani, Janlanani, Duinani, Digutole (Pottery Square) are more famous for pottery works.

making a clay vase at thimi pottery square

making a clay vase at thimi pottery square

Moreover, this place is a charming face of Nepal. People over there do farming, create clay crafts, enjoy festivals and dances. More likely it is a part of their daily life stock. Today people from other communities than newars are also finding their home at this place.

Well, coming back to the people of thimi, they are friendly and warm. As if you can find this in their behaviour. In conclusion, this is a city that pours newari culture and ethnicity. That made you know more about it.


Thimi is around 6.4 km west of the Bhaktapur Durbar Square. And, it takes around 15-20 minutes to reach over there by bus or any other vehicle.

You could choose a local bus or hire a private vehicle to reach Thimi. Thimi is a quite popular place thus, you could easily reach over there.

You can catch a local bus from Ratna Park or from Bagbazaar if you are staying at Thamel, which directly goes to Bhaktapur and the inner areas of thimi too.

No, there is no need for you to pay to enter Thimi.

Yes, there are restaurants and cafes on-site, convenient for all kinds of visitors. But, if you visit the inner or the remote parts of Thimi, then you could not find any fine hotels or restaurants. However, there are small shops doing their business all adequately.

Yes, it is. Even a single woman could travel here alone. However, if you are a foreigner, then people might peek at you. It’s just a habit, so don’t take this so seriously.

Well, there are a lot of things that you can do like shopping, sightseeing, eating local foods, pottery, also photography. And, enjoying festivals, if you reach there in the festive season.

While being in Bhaktapur, you must mind a few things like taking out of your shoes while entering the temple and other religious sites. (There are actually a lot of temples.) Likewise, you might not be allowed to click pictures of some specific events or places. So, ask before you click a photo.

As we informed you earlier it is all safe for solo travelling which means you can travel without a guide. But we also recommend you to have a certified guide who would help you to understand the authentic Bhaktapur and the stories carved all over the monuments and temples.

Yes, it is. Thimi is also an ancient town like the Bhaktapur Nagara. And both of them come under the Bhaktapur District.

There is a case study regarding the geography of Thimi and another city, where the archaeologist find out Thimi was there for 3ooo years.

The main attraction of Thimi is as follows.

  1. Balkumari temple
  2. Thimi Layaku
  3. Lokeshwor temple
  4. Siddhi Kali temple
  5. Sungaa dyo
  6. Bode
  7. Nagadesh
  8. Mahalaxmi temple
  9. Nil Barahi temple
  10. Kumari temple
  11. The pottery square
  12. Sileshwor temple


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  • Madhyapur thimi municipality, Bhaktapur District, Nepal.

  • 27.678664, 85.386816
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