Once a royal palace of the Malla Kings of Lalitpur, Patan Durbar Square is a popular tourist attraction
Patan Durbar Square is at the heart of the Lalitpur district, preserving a vast collection of fine art and architecture carved and inscribed on wood and metals. It is one of three Durbar Squares in Kathmandu Valley that are all UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
The courtyard is a stunning example of Newari architecture at its peak during the rule of the Malla kings. It is a harmonious fusion of majestic royal palaces, luxurious courtyards, and graceful pagoda temples. Even now, if we walk through Patan’s small alley, we can hear the tapping of tiny hammers as artisans work on various ornaments and idols. It is not only the ancient royal palace or the chill junction and the place of artefacts, but also the place which conceals many meanings and interesting facts that you may not be aware of. We have short-listed some of the most amazing facts about Patan Durbar Square.
The history behind Taleju Bell
While entering Patan durbar square from the south side, you can notice a large bell suspended between two sturdy pillars, which is known as Taleju Bell. This giant bell was placed by King Vishnu Malla and his wife Rani Chandra Lakshmi in 1736 after the earlier bell donated in 1703 was moved to the Rato Machindranath Temple. It was the first of the great bells installed in all three of the Valley’s Durbar Squares. During the ancient period, common citizens could ring the bell to notify the king of their grievances or an emergency.
Yoga Narendra’s Statue
There is a tall column in the South of the Jagan Narayan Temple topped by a striking brass statue of King Yoga Narendra Malla and his queens with a cobra looming over the king’s head. There is a bird made up of brass sitting on the head of the cobra. There is a saying that until the bird remains on the cobra’s head, the King may still return to his palace. In the belief of this, a door and window of the palace are left open, and a hookah pipe is also kept ready. It is also believed that if the bird flies off, the elephant in front of the Vishwanath Temple will walk down the Manga Hiti for a drink.
It is a three-story Shikhara-style temple built in 1667 by King Siddhi Narshing Malla. The stone carving along the beam above the first and second-floor pillars is most notable. The first-floor pillar carvings narrate the events of the Mahabharata, while on the second floor, there are visual carvings of Ramayana. There is a saying that the temple was built in the same spot where the King saw Lord Krishna and his consort wife Radha standing in front of the royal palace with just a single piece of a big stone.
This five-storey temple was built by King Jayasthiti Malla in the 14th century (1382) to two-storey, and later three-storey was added by King Srinivasa Malla in the 17th century. There are two ponds in this temple complex, and water inside the pond is said to come straight from the holy Gosainkunda Lake. The water source is only opened during Janai Purnima.
There are three central courtyards in the palace, namely, Mul Chowk, Sundari Chowk, and Keshav Narayan Chowk. Mul Chowk is the largest and oldest courtyard among the three main chowks. It has 136 Bahals(courtyard) and 55 major temples.
(Photo Credit: Global)