Bhaktapur, also known as Bhadgaon or Khwopa, has been located in the Kathmandu Valley of Nepal. It is one of the three major cities in the valley, along with Kathmandu and Patan. Its well-preserved medieval architecture, rich culture, and traditions are renowned.
Key features of Bhaktapur:
- History: The capital of the Malla Kingdom in the 12th century, Bhaktapur remained an independent city-state until Nepal unified it in the 18th century. It flourished as a center of art, culture, and trade during the Malla period.
- Durbar Square: Surrounded by stunning palaces, temples, statues, and courtyards, Bhaktapur’s heart is its Durbar Square, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Prominent attractions include the 55-Window Palace, Vatsala Temple, Nyatapola Temple, and Bhairava Nath Temple.
- Architecture: Bhaktapur is renowned for its exquisite Newari architecture, featuring traditional brick and wood buildings with intricately carved windows, doors, and struts. The pagoda-style temples and palaces showcase fine craftsmanship and the city’s rich cultural heritage.
- Culture and Festivals: The Newar community, the predominant ethnic group in Bhaktapur, celebrates various festivals with great enthusiasm. Colorful processions, dances, and rituals mark popular festivals like Bisket Jatra, Indra Jatra, and Dashain.
- Pottery and Handicrafts: Bhaktapur is known for its pottery, with skilled artisans crafting beautiful clay artifacts in traditional workshops. The city also boasts fame for its handmade paper and thangka paintings.
- Local Cuisine: Bhaktapur highlights Newari cuisine, offering various traditional dishes such as “Yomari” (a sweet dumpling), “Chatamari” (Newari pizza), and “Juju Dhau” (King Curd) at local eateries and restaurants.
- Living Museum: Often called a “living museum,” Bhaktapur’s well-preserved medieval character and heritage offer a sense of stepping back in time while walking through its narrow, cobblestone streets.