One of the three Malla Kingdoms, Bhaktapur carries the significance being the powerful Malla Kingdom and its influence in the Kathmandu valley since the inception of the Malla dynasty. Even though this valley has seen different Kings starting from Malla to Shah Dynasty, the significance it has accumulated since the history of Malla Kingdom is unsurmountable. Bhaktapure Durbar Square is one of the blatant instance of the prosperous and well-crafted arts and architects during the Malla rule. The outstanding Bhaktapure Darbar Square is still highly visited place in Kathmandu Valley for its preservation of the culture, arts and architect of Malla Kingdom. 13 kilometers of drive from Kathmandu to the east takes you to the precinct of Bhaktapur Darbar Square situated in the middle of Bhaktapur, the ‘city of devotees’. When you enter into the area of Bhaktapur Darbar Square, you see the big Darbar Square in front of the 55 window palace located in the northern side of the courtyard.
The following charming craftsmanship you would not escape during your visit:
55 Window Palace
It has typical Nepali name ‘Pachpanna Jyale Darbar’ which was built in the period of Yaksha Malla in 15th century. The palace was renovated and remodeled in 17th century by Bhupatindra Malla whose statue is placed in front of the palace on the spire of the pillar. The windows are crafted with elegant woodcarving which tells the artistic prosperity and aesthetic devotion Malla kings had. The walls are made of bricks and the design of the window gives you astonishing effect. You would be amazed how ardent they would have been and how much time it would have taken to complete such a glorious and gigantic palace in that time when no such machinery tools to make the works faster as it can be done in recent times. Despite of the hurdles and unavailability of the modern day tools and technology, the architect constructed at that period of time are still magnificent and marvelous than many sky-crappers and glittering glass buildings erected in the city. The beauty of 55 Window Palace enthralls you certainly.
The word Nyatpola means ‘five tier’ in Newari language. Because of having five tiers, the temple was named Nyatpola Temple. The interesting fact related to this temple is that it was built in the same era when Taj Mahal was also being constructed. In 18th century, King Bhupatindra Malla ordered to construct the biggest temple ever in the history of Nepal in pagoda style. Surprisingly enough, it took only seven months to complete the temple in that time which is quite fast if we contemplate on the tools and technology of that time. It is the temple of Siddhilaxmi, the tantric goddess of power and success. The platform of the temple’s first story stands at the height of 30 ft. The creative construction of this temple makes you awestruck and amazed.
The marvelous gate you would rarely see anywhere else in your entire life until you visit this place. On the very entrance of palace you encounter with the golden gate of its ultimate and astounding beauty guarded by the force of Nepal Army. The figurine of Goddess Kali and Garuda (griffin) on the door beautifies the look of the gate, along with the two fairies. The founder of the Golden Gate aka Lu Dhowka was King Ranjit Malla. The splendid architect and craftsmanship leaves you spell-binding. It wouldn’t be bizarre if you give few more times for the observation of Golden Gate than anything else.
Bhairav Nath Temple and Mini Pashupati Temple
The construction of temples in the area of Darbar shows the reverence and veneration the King had for the religion and their belief in the Supreme Power even though they were the ruler of the people. Bhairav Nath Temple is the temple dedicated to the God Bhairav, the God of terror and death, who is the angry and enraged form of God Shiva whereas Mini Pashupatinath Temples was built by a King of Bhaktapur after he saw a dream in which he was asked by the Lord Shiva to erect his temple. Immediately after this dream, it is believed that the temple named Mini Pashupatinath was built in front of the palace.
The gate which is located in the entrance of National Art Museum was constructed by a creative craftsperson whose hands were believed to be cut by the then King of Bhadgaon (the another named of Bhaktapur) so that he would not make such well-designed and elegant architecture again. Two lions are facing to the courtyard of Darbar Square which is one of the most enticing and attractive architect to visit in this prosperous city of arts and craftsmanship.
The statue of Bhupatindra Malla
King Bhupatindra Malla’s effigy facing to the palace with prayer position has been erected on the top of the pillar to the opposite side of 55 Window Palace. As being the notable and eminent king of Malla Dynasty in Bhaktapur, he has received high values and regards in the books of history as well as the debate and discussion on Malla Period.
The temple dedicated to the Goddess Batsala Devi. In addition to its association with Batsala Devi Goddess, the bell hung at the side of the temple was used to ring to inform the curfew in the city in the era of King Ranjit Malla. The artistic beauty made on stand-stone was its unique attraction. However, 8the earthquake of April 2015 completely demolished the temple leaving the bell intact.