Bhaktapur (Durbar Square)

Founded in the 9th century, the city of Bhaktapur (also known as Bhadguan or Bhadgaon) has a tradition as the "City of Devotees" and once ruled over all of Nepal. Like the nearby cities of Kathmandu and Patan, Bhaktapur has a well-preserved (and restored) Durbar Square that contains a royal palace ("durbar") and other temples.

Bhaktapur has many fine examples of Newar carvings, statues and metalwork. Nearby, in Taumadhi Tol (Square), stands one of Bhaktapur's most famous temples, the multi-stored Nyatapola (that, unfortunately, was covered in restoration scaffolding during my 1997 visit). Taumadhi Square is also a lively gathering place for local residents.

A short distance away, is Potters' Square, home to many artisans making local pottery. Outside the historic sites, Bhaktapur is a maze of narrow streets and colorful shops.

Other Durbar Squares in Nepal: Kathmandu and Patan.