Bhaktapur is a beautiful city in Nepal that is known for its unique sights, sounds and smells. It boasts an impressive collection of historical and cultural artefacts, including stunning architecture and traditions that have been passed down through generations. As a centre of trade and craftsmanship, Bhaktapur has a rich history that is still evident in its buildings and landmarks.
Visitors to the city can immerse themselves in the local culture by exploring the many temples, shrines, and other spiritual sites that are still in use today. To make the most of your visit to Bhaktapur, be sure to plan and do some research on the best times to visit certain sites and where to find the most authentic local cuisine.
By doing so, you can experience everything this wonderful city has to offer.
Although Bhaktapur is one of the three major ancient cities of Nepal, it does not give similar vibes as the other two ancient cities of the Kathmandu Valley. The most fascinating thing about Bhaktapur is that it has a lot of places to show and offers a lot of authentic experiences.
Of course, art and architectures are exceptionally beautiful, the techniques, tools and creativity they used to make all those monumental architectures always left us astonished. As such even when you explain about such architectures, you will find new aspects of structures. Touring Bhaktapur not only let me know more about architecture but also about the significance of them.
The palaces built in these ancient cities, although are settled in between the town, they give you peace of mind. And, Bhaktapur, in comparison, of course, is more peaceful. Until some time before, it doesn’t even used to be crowded like today.
Bhaktapur is still not that crowded if we compare it with Patan and Basantapur (Kathmandu Durbar Square).
Also, Bhaktapur offers a perfect heritage walk. You can peacefully take a heritage walk in Bhaktapur. There are some sights which are possible to sight only on a walk. There are a lot of minor temples, and monasteries, on the inner streets of the Bhaktapur where you have to pass through small alleys and courtyards. Some of them are also listed on the heritage sites. The Navadurga Dyo Chhen, Bishwokarma Agam Chhen, and Basuki Ghar are some examples of such sites.
Henceforth, with some exceptional architectural encounters, some beautiful incident is bound to happen when you walk in the streets of Bhaktapur. It’s because when you walk, you notice a lot of things, and you get to know a lot about different stuff. Of course, it includes the ethnic group of Bhaktapur, the Newa people, their religion, culture, tradition, festivals, daily lifestyle, dressing, cuisines and hospitality.
And sometimes, you encounter the most unexpected facet of Bhaktapur. The Navadurga Gana, who walks on the streets as they are the most free spirit in this world. Carefree, and devoted towards Navadurga, they wear specific colours of garments, put clay masks, and on top of that, the marvellously stunning moulded crown which made them exceptionally outstanding in the crowd.
They are something that you wish to witness, at least once in your lifetime, if you have heard about them. Seeing them live is such a thrilling experience and I wonder if everyone can explain their spiritual journey. Thus, if you are interested in such a magnificent journey of Navadurga, look out for a Bhaktapur Special Tour Guide.
Likewise, sometimes you find a group playing traditional musical instruments. There, what fascinated you the most is that the group consists of at least three generations. Yes, traditions and culture are passed down here from generation to generation. That’s what also makes this city a centre of cultural attraction.
Jatras and processions are happening in the city all around the year. So, it’s best to come over here during such a feast and festival. There are some annual jatras (processions) like Biska Jatra, Gai Jatra (Sa: Paru), and Indra Jatra (also known as Yenya Punhi) which last for several days.
Therefore, I suggest you to stayover at Bhaktapur for at least a night.
If you ever have sightseeing in Bhaktapur in the evening or early morning, you’ll know what an ancient city might have looked like. On the eve and morn, there will be people singing hymns (bhajans) in the patis (resthouses) near temples. You won’t understand a thing what they are singing but it’s delightful listening to them.
Well, these things are rarely possible to see while doing a day’s sightseeing. But, if you are staying over, then, this will be the most fascinating thing that you will encounter in Bhaktapur.
While guiding in Bhaktapur, we generally focus on sightseeing of the four major squares of Bhaktapur i.e., Bhaktapur Durbar Square, Taumadhi Square, Pottery Square and Dattatraya Square via walk. Each of these sites is famous for not a particular thing. They have temples, palaces, statues, unique architecture, and spots from where you can satisfy your eyes with heritage beaut.
However, these places also have good cafes and restaurants to chill for a moment. Also, there are ages-old eateries to go to if you want to have a taste of authentic newari food. Something like Bara, or Wa. It’s a dish made out of lentils and other mixes. There is a very old and small Bara shop behind Nyatapola temple. I recommend you to not miss that place if you are eager to try something authentic from Bhaktapur.
With that, you can taste Juju dhau. Of course, it is a local curd but is named Juju dhau which means king curd (Juju means king in the newari language) because of its taste. It is a sugar-free curd but is different from any other curd that you might have tasted in your life.
With this and that, it has always been my privilege to introduce travellers to this enchanting city’s rich heritage, exquisite architecture, culture and vibrant traditions. And each time, when I give a tour, I discover something new like some amazing woodcarving, new icons, a new temple. In comparison to other sites, Bhaktapur feels like a spacious art gallery, where each and everything has a story, just waiting to be narrated.