Bhaktapur Travel Essentials

  • Weather: Pleasant climate, with mild temperatures throughout the year. Cooler evenings, especially during winter.
  • Ideal Duration: Stay of 2-3 days
  • Best Time: Spring (March to May) , Autumn (October to November)
  • Language and Communication: Nepali, Newari, English

Explore Bhaktapur, Nepal

Step into the magic of Bhaktapur City, Nepal—a place that feels like a time machine to the past! Walk through its streets, and you’re instantly transported back to medieval times. Bhaktapur, often hailed as the “City of Devotees,” is more than just a city; it’s a living testament to Nepal’s glorious past. Picture yourself strolling through centuries-old streets, experiencing the warmth of the locals, savoring local cuisine and the rich tapestry of Nepalese heritage. As you navigate through the narrow alleys and uncover the treasures of Bhaktapur Durbar Square, you’ll find yourself completely immersed in the unique blend of tradition and heritage that defines this captivating destination. Whether you’re a history buff, an adventure junkie, or simply someone on the lookout for the extraordinary, Bhaktapur promises an experience beyond the ordinary. 

What is Bhaktapur Famous For? 

Bhaktapur is renowned for its well-preserved medieval architecture and rich cultural heritage. The pebbled streets surrounding the square are lined with traditional Newari houses, pottery squares, and vibrant marketplaces. Beyond its architectural glory, Bhaktapur has its own fan club, and for good reasons: 

  • Vibrant festivals: People love Bhaktapur for its lively cultural festivals or “jatras” that turn the streets into a big party with different themes and rituals.  It’s not just a celebration; it’s a spectacle that brings the whole community together in a joyous display of heritage and unity. So, if you find yourself in Bhaktapur during Jatra, consider yourself lucky—you’re in for a treat of cultural richness, festive vibes, and a memorable experience that’ll stay with you long after the last dance.
  • Newari Cuisine: Newari dishes are a feast that’s not just food but a journey through centuries-old culinary heritage where  recipes were passed down from generation to generation. Bara, yomari, chatamari, samay baji—each has its own unique story to tell on the palate. 
  • Juju Dhau: Crafted with care in clay pots, Juju Dhau is a culinary masterpiece. The texture is thick, the taste is extra rich, So, when in Bhaktapur, don’t miss the chance to indulge in this exquisite yogurt.
  • Pottery: Pottery showcases the rich tradition of Bhaktapur. As you stroll through the narrow alleys, you’ll encounter skilled hands shaping clay into intricate pottery. Be sure to try out pottery yourselves as many local shops offer pottery workshops.

Bhaktapur Durbar Square

Bhaktapur Durbar Square is a UNESCO World Heritage Site known as a focal point for religious, cultural, and social activities. The term “Durbar Square” refers to the plaza in front of the royal palace, which dates back to the 12th century and was the royal seat of the Malla kings until the 18th century. The square is surrounded by a harmonious blend of palaces, courtyards, temples, and statues, showcasing exquisite examples of Newari craftsmanship and architecture. 

Despite the challenges faced during the earthquake of 2015, efforts have been made to restore and preserve the historic structures of Bhaktapur Durbar Square, ensuring that future generations can continue to marvel at the beauty and significance of this cultural gem.

 

What to See in Bhaktapur Durbar Square?

  • Bhaktapur National Art Gallery: Bhaktapur houses a collection of ancient art and artifacts, providing further insights into the cultural and artistic heritage of Bhaktapur.
  • Golden Gate: The Golden Gate is a beautifully crafted entrance to the courtyard of the 55-Window Palace. The gate is adorned with intricate gold artwork, making it one of the most aesthetically pleasing structures in the square.
  • Nyatapola Temple: Built in 1702, Nyatapola is a five-story pagoda, making it one of the tallest pagodas in Nepal. Dedicated to the goddess Siddhi Lakshmi, the temple is known for its beautifully carved wooden struts and statues.
  • 55 Windows Palace (Pachpanna Jhyale Durbar): This palace is a remarkable example of medieval Nepali architecture. Its name is derived from the intricate wood carvings that adorn its 55 windows. The palace was the seat of the Malla kings and offers a captivating view of the square.
  • Vatsala Temple: Dedicated to the goddess Vatsala, this temple is renowned for its erotic wood carvings and the “Batsala Devi” image. The temple is an excellent example of the intricate craftsmanship of the Newari people.
  • Bhairab Nath Temple: This temple is dedicated to Lord Bhairab, a fearsome manifestation of Lord Shiva. The three-tiered pagoda-style temple houses a giant mask of Bhairab, and during festivals, it becomes a focal point for religious ceremonies.
  • Lion’s Gate: One of the entrances to the palace, the Lion’s Gate is adorned with magnificent woodwork. The gate features two statues of lions on either side, providing a grand entrance to the royal palace.
  • Mini Pashupati Temple: Located near the Nyatapola Temple, this small shrine is reminiscent of the Pashupatinath Temple in Kathmandu. It is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is an essential spiritual site within the square.

 

Other Tourist Places in Bhaktapur

Nagarkot

Nagarkot is like a quiet getaway on top of the hills near Bhaktapur. You get to see amazing views of the snowy Himalayan peaks, especially during sunrise. It’s a great place to chill and breathe in the fresh mountain air. If you’re into nature or just want a peaceful break, Nagarkot is the spot. You can also climb up the Nagarkot View Tower for a super cool view or take a hike through the forests for an adventure.

 

Changu Narayan Temple

Changu Narayan Temple is a history book. It’s an ancient Hindu temple with fancy carvings and really old inscriptions. Dedicated to Lord Vishnu, it sits on a hill near Bhaktapur. You’ll find it surrounded by a greenery view. It’s a must-visit, especially if you’re into history or just want a peaceful place to hang out.

 

Things to Do in Bhaktapur

Bhaktapur is buzzing with activities that promise a delightful and enriching experience. Here’s a roundup of things to do to make the most of your time in this charming city:

  1. Wander through ancient local art galleries. 
  2. Visit Potter’s Square and watch skilled craftsmen mold clay into beautiful pottery, or try your hand at crafting your own masterpiece.
  3. Choose Nagarkot or any vantage point to witness the magical sunrise. 
  4. Go on a day hike in Nagarkot and explore the trails around. 
  5. Dive into the local cultural events and festivals happening around town. 

Whether you’re into art, hands-on crafts, nature walks, or cultural celebrations, Bhaktapur has something for everyone.

Book Bhaktapur Tour Packages

Bhaktapur is buzzing with activities that promise a delightful and enriching experience. Here’s a roundup of things to do to make the most of your time in this charming city:

  • Nagarkot to Dhulikhel Day Hiking

    • 1 Day

    • Nagarkot, Nepal

    Price : On Request

    Learn More
  • Nagarkot Sunrise Day Tour from Kathmandu

    • 1 Day

    • Nagarkot, Nepal

    Price : On Request

    Learn More
  • Kathmandu Honeymoon Tour

    • 6 days

    • Kathmandu, Nepal

    Price : On Request

    Learn More
  • Nepal Muslim Tour

    • 8 days

    • Pokhara, Nepal

    Price : On Request

    Learn More
  • Short Nepal Tour

    • 5 days

    • Kathmandu, Nepal

    Price : On Request

    Learn More

Local Cuisine in Bhaktapur

Bhaktapur’s local cuisine offers a celebration of tradition that tantalizes your taste buds at every bite. 

Juju Dhau

Juju Dhau, a special yogurt served in clay pots, offering a sweet connection to Bhaktapur’s culinary heritage. It’s a must try.

Samay Baji

Samay Baji, a traditional Newari platter featuring an array of delightful bites symbolizing celebration and joy.

Bara

A popular and nourishing Newari lentil pattie that packs a flavorful punch and is a must-try street food delight.

Yomari

A steamed rice dumpling filled with jaggery and sesame seeds, bringing a touch of sweetness to your Bhaktapur culinary adventure.

Choila

A seasoned and grilled meat dish that showcases the bold flavors of Bhaktapur’s culinary prowess.

Sekuwa

A grilled and marinated meat skewers that make for a delicious and savory treat.

Kachilaa

A traditional dish featuring marinated raw fish that tantalizes the palate with its fresh and zesty taste.

Thon (Chhyang)

Quench your thirst with Thon, a traditional rice beer (Chhyang) that adds a refreshing touch to your culinary journey through Bhaktapur.

Bhaktapur Map

More on Bhaktapur

What does the name Bhaktapur mean?

Bhaktapur, when translated, holds a significant meaning. “Bhakta” refers to devotees or followers, and “pur” means city. Together, Bhaktapur is the “City of Devotees,” reflecting the deep cultural and spiritual roots that define this enchanting Nepalese city.

What is the history of Bhaktapur?

Bhaktapur’s history unfolds as a captivating tale, dating back to the 12th century. Once the royal seat of the Malla kings until the 18th century, this ancient city boasts medieval grandeur and cultural richness. Its well-preserved architecture, vibrant festivals, and intricate craftsmanship stand as testaments to a legacy woven with stories of devotion, royalty, and a resilient spirit.

How far is Kathmandu from Bhaktapur?

Kathmandu and Bhaktapur share close quarters, with a mere distance of approximately 13 kilometers. You can easily get hassle free transport from Bhaktapur to Kathmandu. 

What are the shopping options in Bhaktapur?

Bhaktapur offers a diverse shopping experience with traditional handicrafts, Thangka paintings, Pashmina shawls, ceramic wares, local textiles, metal crafts, spices, teas, and stone sculptures. From exploring the rich heritage of pottery to indulging in authentic textiles and art, Bhaktapur’s vibrant markets cater to every shopper’s taste, providing a unique blend of traditional and contemporary treasures.

FAQs

What is the famous product of Bhaktapur?

The most renowned product of Bhaktapur is its exquisite pottery. The city’s skilled artisans create a variety of ceramic wares, from decorative pieces to functional items, showcasing the rich heritage and craftsmanship that has made Bhaktapur a pottery haven.

What is the special food of Bhaktapur?

Juju Dhau, a special yogurt served in clay pots, stands out as a culinary gem in Bhaktapur, offering a delightful and unique taste.

Who built Bhaktapur city?

Bhaktapur city Nepal was built by King Ananda Deva in the 9th century but underwent significant development under the Malla rulers during the medieval period.

Which mountain is seen from Bhaktapur?

On clear days, mountain peaks like Langtang and Ganesh, can be enjoyed from Bhaktapur.

What does the name Bhaktapur mean?

The name “Bhaktapur” translates to the “City of Devotees,” embodying the deep cultural and spiritual roots of this enchanting Nepalese city.

Is Bhaktapur suitable for solo travelers?

Absolutely! Bhaktapur’s welcoming atmosphere, rich cultural experiences, and friendly locals make it a fantastic destination for solo travelers seeking exploration and connection.

Are there trekking opportunities near Bhaktapur?

Yes, trekking opportunities abound around Bhaktapur, with nearby destinations like Nagarkot offering scenic trails and breathtaking views, making it an ideal adventure for trekking enthusiasts.

Are there vegetarian food options in Bhaktapur?

Bhaktapur caters to diverse dietary preferences, and you’ll find a plethora of delicious and authentic vegetarian options, from traditional Newari dishes to street food delights.