Royal Palace, Patan


Patan Dhurba Square

Patan Dhurba Square

Amid all the dusty, noisy craziness of Kathmandu, after three months of living here, it still surprises me when I come upon ancient corners of the city like Patan Dhurbar Square.  Suddenly you are in a whole different world of ornate temples and incredible architecture mixed in with every day life, pigeons, cows and — disappointingly — even motorcycles, which seem to sneak inside without repercussions.  The greater Kathmandu area has three Dhurbar Squares, all of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.  I had visited the other two in Bhaktapur and central Kathmandu, but until last week I hadn’t made it to Dhurbar Square in Patan.

It was a Sunday and it was crowded.  We edged through the masses en route to an official opening of the Royal Palace restoration.  Stepping through the ancient wooden doors with our invitation, it was a different world yet again, this time without the crowds.

Royal Palace, Patan

Mul Cok courtyard set up ready for the official opening

Royal Palace, Patan

Different parts of the palace were restoration projects managed by different donors. Here the central golden shrine and the ornate golden doorway in the background were both incredible restorations

The US Embassy has donated over a million dollars towards the restoration of the old palace and a fantastic job was done to bring this classic Newari architecture back from ruins.  Much of the palace dates back to the 17th century and along with the destructive effects of time and pollution, the Royal Palace has suffered damage from two major earthquakes that left parts of the palace in ruins.

Royal Palace, Patan

Much of the courtyard contains original 17th century wooden sculptured architecture – and every lintel and column is different..

Royal Palace, Patan

One of the many original carved wooden lintels

In the rear, behind the Palace buildings, is a courtyard still undergoing restorations including Tusa Hiti, a restored 17th-century step well.  It was amazing to walk around through the ancient grounds, which were peaceful and quiet with the craziness of Patan Dhurbar Square just a few feet away.

Royal Palace, Patan

Royal Palace, Patan

I loved this wacky looking lion

Royal Palace, Patan

Royal Palace, Patan

Although some restoration is still ongoing, its wonderful to know the main work that has been done to preserve this amazing architecture and that it is open up to the public so Nepalis and foreign visitors can enjoy this amazing place.

2 thoughts on “Royal Palace, Patan

    • Thanks. They are still restoring some of the grounds behind. It will be amazing when they are finished. Glad you had a chance to visit Nepal. I will shoot over to your blog and take a look ;o) Caroline

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