Known as the ‘City of Devotees’, the ‘City of Culture’, the ‘Living Heritage’ and ‘Nepal’s Cultural Gem’, Bhaktapur is one of the trio of royal cities that dominate Kathmandu Valley’s history. Brimming with stunning monuments, mostly brick with carved wood columns, fascinating palaces and intricate temples with elaborate carvings, gilded roofs and open courtyards, this city is abundant with colourful pagodas and religious shrines. These towering temples, which pepper the medieval squares, comprise some of the finest religious architecture in the entire country. Situated along the ancient trade route between India and Tibet, Bhaktapur is ringed by mountains and provides a spectacular view of the Himalaya in fine weather.
Bhaktapur remains refreshingly free of traffic and pollution and the narrow streets that wind past red-brick houses and hidden courtyards are sprinkled with a myriad local shrines, obscure temples, significant statues, cisterns and wells. Boasting a beguiling cultural life, the whirling streets and bustling squares create a fascinating tableau. One area is a centre for local potters and drying pots and open kilns adorn the square. Artisans weave cloth and carve timber in roadside homes. Locals come together in communal courtyards to socialise, trade, collect water and partake in serious card games. A small fee is charged at the town entrance, which goes towards protecting, restoring and maintaining the temples and allows you to explore this milieu of Nepali life.