Are you thinking about voyaging to Bhaktapur but have no idea, What to visit there? How to get there? What to eat? Or, what is so special about it?
Arising such questions is very normal when you are totally unaware about this one time, not satisfactorily classified city.
However, you would not find Bhaktapur that much dwelling either, if you just get a sum of information about it.
If you have a keen interest in knowing its meaning then you can check our near article. The meaning of Bhaktapur
Bhaktapur is one popular destination yet most visitors avoid it because it lasts a bit far from the hub of Nepal, Kathmandu city. While the distance between these two cores is just 16 kilometres.
It will take approximately half an hour to one hour to reach Bhaktapur from Kathmandu if you ride your personal vehicle or book a cab/car, as per the condition of traffic at Koteshwor. However, if you choose to take a local bus, then it would take one to one and a half hours from Bag Bazar to Bhaktapur.
This distance counts for only those who aim to travel within Bhaktapur Durbar Square only. Otherwise, it could take more time and hours.
Okay! Here we go with the top 20 places that are perfect for one or more days of travelling. I will be mentioning what to do, where to eat, and how to get there.
Top 20 places to visit in Bhaktapur
1. Bhaktapur Durbar Square
A traveller once said that visiting Bhaktapur Durbar Square is worth more than travelling half of the entire world. Doesn’t it sound interesting?
Well, yes, it sounds interesting, because this royal palace of Bhaktapur that we all call, Bhaktapur Durbar Square however is able to attract all kinds of visitors with its authentic arts and architecture, stories, mysteries, and well-preserved cultural heritage.
As I have already mentioned, it would take approximately 1 hour to reach there from Bagbazaar, or it could take less time too. It all depends upon the traffic in Nepal. And, you don’t need to worry about the availability of restaurants. There are a lot of restaurants and miniature shops where you can have your lunch or buy snacks.
If you are visiting Bhaktapur Durbar Square, then you can try one of my favourites, kulfi, on the east-southern corner of the square. There is a small shop that has a variety of kulfis and paun. And yes, the Juju dhau.
* kulfis are the frozen khoa cubed. And paun is the special spices mixed pickles which we call titaura as well.
If you intend to visit Bhaktapur then, this place must be on top of the list as you won’t regret visiting this cool place. Further, you need to pay a certain charge to visit there except for the Nepalese citizens.
For more information about the entry fee of the heritage sites of Nepal including the Bhaktapur Durbar Square, you can check out the following article.
Entry fees of the heritage sites in Nepal
2. Taumadhi Square
Taumadhi Square, where the tallest pagoda of Nepal, Nyatapola temple resides along with the fearsome temple of Bhairavanath is one popular stopover of Bhaktapur.
Just a minute of a walk from the south alley of Bhaktapur Durbar Square, and here we reach the premises of Nyatapola temple. Besides this, another giant and popular temple of Bhaktapur resides, the Bhairavnath temple.
For a local taste of bara, you could choose to go to the northern alley and stop before the path ends. On the left corner, you could find a fine newa shop where the famous bara is traded.
Additionally, if you choose the path toward the east, there again with a bang a pati pasal, an open mo: mo shop awaits for you.
Additionally, one small alley which is placed right in front of the Nyatapola leads you to a courtyard where the Til Madhav Narayan temple stands. The temple is best known for its antique appearance as well as for the best stopover to have a typical newa type of party i.e, Samyay bhwey during Gaijatra.
3. Dattatraya and pottery Square
Both Dattatraya and pottery square are special in different matters. Like, pottery Square of Bhaktapur Nagara( not of thimi and other places, since there are so many places in Bhaktapur that produced clay crafts) is famous for its terracotta creations and exceptionally beautiful thanka and paubha paintings.
It is just a or two minutes of walk far from the taumadhi. A southern path from Taumadhi square leads you to this terracotta farm.
On the other hand, Dattatraya Square is more familiar with the best wood carvings, especially for the carvings of wooden windows that have an icon of peacocks. Such carving is called Aakhi jhyal in the Nepalese language.
There is even a brass and bronze museum along with the woodcarving museum on the premises of Dattatraya Square with more centuries-old temples like the temple of Sala Ganesh, Laxminarayan, and Bhimsen.
It is not far as well from the Bhaktapur Durbar Square. It would take a maximum of 15 minutes to walk and reach there. So, no need to ride an extra bus or anything.
You don’t need to worry about the hotels and restaurants on the site. Once you reach there, you will discover it yourself. That is why I didn’t suggest anything about it.
Nagarkot, the highest point of Bhaktapur is one beautiful place that you simply could not ignore.
Nagarkot, where the sun rises among the beautiful hills and mountains whereas set on the heads of miniature architectures of the Kathmandu Valley.
If you want to travel with the green wilderness on the top of the freezing fogs, then you must visit Nagarkot. It’s not that difficult to reach over there. You simply need to take a bus from Kamalbinayak Bus park (approximately an hour bus ride) which is enough accessible to Nagarkot.
That offer discourages those who want to experience the local hustle and bustle of Bhaktapur. If you are not that patient, then you can simply book a cab or go in your own vehicle.
Let me tell you that Nagarkot has the most luxurious hotels in the entire Bhaktapur.
5. Pilot Baba Ashram
The Pilot Baba Ashram lies in the southern hill station of Bhaktapur, which lies in the southern hill station of Bhaktapur Nagar. The hill station before the erection of Pilot Baba Ashram was merely known as the Ghyampe Danda.
Well, you can find a portion of Ghyampe Danda on Google Maps, if you specifically search for it.
The ashram also has a Shiva temple, named Somnath temple. From its right corner, you can catch the perfect sunset that goes under the nearby hill station of Kathmandu valley.
However, the destination also gives you a slightly complete view of the only International Airport of Nepal, Tribhuvan International Airport, landing and taking off of the flights.
This 2-3 hour walk or the 25 minutes (maximum) ride purposely gives you one of the best views of southern and northern Bhaktapur with the immense beauty of the sunset. (The rides and walks count from the Bhaktapur Durbar Square.)
Thimi is an ancient cultural city of Bhaktapur as well as Nepal. You gotta believe that this city perfectly lies in between the three majestically beautiful cities of Nepal, i.e, Bhaktapur, Kathmandu, and Lalitpur.
This dense burgh is full of Newa culture, tradition, pottery, vegetation, and festivals. In various ways, the city counts as the Bhaktapur Nagar, the UNESCO World Heritage site.
Since it is also rich in festivities, jatras, culture, art, and architecture. The city is more famous for the Mahakali Dance, Bhairav Dance, Nil barahi dance, Sindur Jatra, and tongue-piercing jatra.
Besides, it is a beautiful city, which makes it worthwhile to visit once in your lifetime. Don’t miss this place if you are planning to explore Bhaktapur.
And, for that, you just need to take a bus from Bagbazar. (If you are going to travel via local bus). Today, the city is divided into two names: Purano thimi and Naya thimi, which mean the old town thimi and New Thimi, respectively.
7. Changu Narayan Temple
Changu Narayan Temple is the oldest temple in Nepal, yet is extremely beautiful. The wood carvings of the struts, old statues, and miniature temples, all depict the ancient city of the whole nation.
Besides, the temple-like most of the other temples in Nepal lies on the top of the hill. Therefore, this place with religious importance also has a natural feast. The northern alley of the changu is all filled with pristine views of the Himalayas.
That’s why, the destination also desists as one of the best hiking trails of Bhaktapur, the Nagarkot-changu hiking trail, and one of the best places to explore newa and the Gurung cuisine. A single bus from Bagbazaar could drop you at Changu but it’s quite time-consuming.
Or else, you could choose to walk or cycle those crisscross kinda roads by yourself.
8. Kailashnath temple
The tallest statue of Lord Shiva in the entire world is the statue of Kailash Nath Mahadev which lies within the border of the Bhaktapur.
Both the view of such a tall stature and the view that you would have, especially on the sunset simply would blow your mind along with your hairs by the crisp air.
It’s an amazing place. Half an hour of bus ride from Jagati bus park would drop you on the Sanga, from where the quick walk is required. Well, if you are in Bhaktapur Durbar Square then, you must ride a bus, at first, to reach Jagati itself.
Ranikot is one popular destination for hiking in Bhaktapur. The crispy and crooked path from Suryabinayak via Pilot Baba Ashram to Ranikot offers beautiful and dramatic views of nearby villages and the Kathmandu Valley.
Being situated in the southern hill station of Bhaktapur, it also offers majestic views of the Himalayas ranges in the north.
Well, Ranikot resort over there waits for you to wake up with the shining ray of the sun, early in the morning. Those sun patches overlapping the jungles of Ranikot and the smell of freshness made your entire day warm as well as fresh.
10. Siddha Pokhari
Siddha Pokhari is one of the oldest and the largest ponds of Bhaktapur. Locally interpreted as Ta; Pukhu means the big pond, some study says it is a natural pool while some say it is a manmade pond.
But, it still has a great name in Bhaktapur. People of almost all ages go there.
Besides, it has religious importance too. During the Indra jatra, a jatra associated with Indrayani is done over there where the diyos are lit up all around the pond.
The night view of that pond, simultaneously on that day looks immensely beautiful like a night of Tihar. All lighted up and bright.
11. Trishul Danda
Trishul Danda, around half an hour of walk afar from Changu Narayan temple, is one good place to visit on weekends. Not being that far from Bhaktapur Nagara and having good accessibility make it a lot easier to reach over there.
You can have a good glance at the Himalayas as well as the nearby villages and Kathmandu from there. There is a view tower, temple of Mahankal, Panchamukhi Hanuman and a picnic spot. Thus, it’s the kinda perfect place to do dry picnics as well.
12. Ghyampe Danda
A perfect place for camping. Right above the Pilot Baba Ashram and below Ranikot Danda, there lies the Ghyampe Danda. Besides camping, you can go ziplining over there or simply hike.
With the view of beautiful Himalayan ranges, Ghyampe Danda also offers a ravishing sunset view.
Latarambeshwor is quite a new name and destination. A few years back, it was not even heard anywhere. But recently, many hikers are cyclists are found posting about this place.
Latarambeshwor temple is a recently completed temple, all made by the terracotta and is located behind the Kailashnath Mahadev temple (Sanga Mahadeva). Approximately half an hour of a hike from the main road (one stop ahead of the Sanga Bus stop) would transmit you to the foot of the temple.
It also provides a good view of the capital and nearby villages.
14. Subarneshwor Mahadev temple
If you are from Bhaktapur, then you might have already been there several times. There is a considerable chance of being there because of school picnics, family picnics and puja at.
However, today, the place is more famous for Chiya Pasal (local tea shop) than for the temple and worshipping. At the bottom of the temple, there is a small tea stall that serves the best tea in Bhaktapur.
Perhaps, that’s why the place seems quite bursting. On top of that, it offers one of the most satisfying sunset views. The place is located around a 10-15 mins walk from Pandubazaar, towards the southwest.
15. Anantalingeshwor Mahadev temple
Sounds quite similar to the Subarneshwor Mahadev temple, Right?
Of course, it is. Anantalingeshwor is noticed from Subarneshwor and is 3.8 kilometres away from it. You can reach there within 15 minutes if you are in a vehicle, otherwise, it would take about an hour.
Anantalingeshwor retains a sound environment within woods which somehow helps us to relieve stress. It is one nice place. Moreover, it has both historical and religious importance.
Kalamasi, the artificial lake of Bhaktapur is also known as the Bojini dam site and picnic spot. That artificial lake is actually a barricade surrounded by the jungle. Thus, you can enjoy the fresh air and sound flow of the natural stream over there.
The place is located roughly near Muhan pokhari. And, that near costs around 10-15 minutes of drive. There is even a small trail within the jungle that ultimately collabs with the Deurali hiking trail. Thus, you can start another hike from there.
It surely is a perfect place for those who don’t even want to have a glimpse of the city. Cause, you would be in the middle of woods and dam on your side.
17. Nil Barahi Temple
Nil Barahi temple of Bode is situated on a hilltop just like other predominantly temples. However, it offers a close-up view of Kathmandu as well as the Changu Narayan temple from its premises.
The place is all surrounded by the forest and accompanied by monkeys. So, be quite careful when you go there with food in your hands. Besides, it is a nice place with a unique temple ( with no roof) and a lot of places to chill around.
18. Malay gaun
Malay gaun is another hill stop of Bhaktapur that lies right next to the Ghyampedanda but towards the east. Because there is a tree, as a matter of fact, hence, it is also called Singletree.
The place is really good. If you are in need of fresh air and want to run from the hustle and bustle of the city, then this place simply bungles your mind. Features like the view of the Himalayan ranges and Bhaktapur Nagar at once is quite common in the hills of Bhaktapur. Yet, it gives a kind of relief even just by being there.
Gundu is the best place to appreciate the beauty of the sky. When you stand there, your eyes stick in the scenic beauty of the green woods but, when you lie upon the grasslands, the sky reveals its expositions.
It is thus, is the grassland of Bhaktapur. By site, this place lies right behind the Suryabinayak and is a kinda off-the-beaten destination, all hidden behind the southern hills. However, it would not be a pleasure, if you go there during the rainy season.
20. Mahamanjushree Temple
Commonly known as Lhasapakhe, Saraswotisthan or Mahamanjushree Danda is also one worth visiting place in Bhaktapur. Besides historical and religious significance, it gives us a harmonious consistency.
You can see a perfect illustration of religious co-existence over there. There is a temple of Goddess Saraswoti and of Mahamanjushree, and both Hindus and Buddhists worship both deities.
Besides, it also gives a great sight of Kathmandu valley.
Nevertheless, discovering more and more such places is going on, until then, keep travelling and make your kinda list of visited places of Bhaktapur.