Patan

Officially Lalitpur Sub-Metropolitan City, is one of the major cities of Nepal located in the south-central part of the Kathmandu Valley. It is best known for its rich cultural heritage, particularly its tradition of arts and crafts. It is called city of festival and feast, fine ancient art, making of metallic and stone carving statue. One of the most used and typical Newar names of Patan is Yala.
Patan is on the elevated tract of land in Kathmandu Valley on the south side of the Bagmati River, which separates it from the city of Kathmandu on the northern and western side. It is among the largest cities in the country, along with Kathmandu, Pokhara, and Biratnagar.

Historical monuments
The city was initially designed in the shape of the Buddhist Dharma-Chakra (Wheel of Righteousness). The four thurs or mounds on the perimeter of Patan are ascribed around, one at each corner of its cardinal points, which are popularly known as Asoka Stupas. Legend has it that Emperor Asoka (the legendary King of India) visited with his daughter Charumati to Kathmandu in 250 B.C. and erected five Asoka Stupas, four in the surrounding and one at the middle of the Patan. The size and shape of these stupas seem to breathe their antiquity in a real sense. There are more than 1,200 Buddhist monuments of various shapes and sizes scattered in and around the city.

The most important monument of the city is Patan Durbar Square, which has been listed by UNESCO as one of seven Monument Zones that make up the Kathmandu Valley World Heritage Site. The seven monument zones were included in the World Heritage List in 1979 as one integrated site. The monument zones are declared as protected and preserved according to the Monuments Preservation Act of 1956.

Patan City was planned in Vihars and Bahils. Out of 295 Vihars and Bahils of the valley 56% of them are in Patan. The water conduits, stone spouts, Jaladroni (water tanks), artistic gate ways, Hindu temples and Buddhist Vihars adorn the city. The in built cultural heritage like the royal palace, with intricately carved doors and windows and beautiful courtyards adorned with exquisite icons enhance the beauty of the city. Such art pieces are found in stone, metal, terracotta ivory and other objects. All these artifacts exhibit artistic excellence of the craftsmen and the whole city looks like an open museum.

Places of interest
Patan is renowned as a very artistic city. Most of the Nepalese art is devoted to Gods, and there are an abundance of temples and viharas. Notable places of interest include:
Patan Durbar Square: The palace square and residence of the Malla rulers of Patan state which now houses a museum.

Patan Dhoka: One of the historical entrances to the old city.
Bhaskerdev Samskarita Hiranyabarna Mahavihara: A Buddhist temple known locally as Golden Temple.
Mahabouddha Temple: Also known as 1000 Buddha Temple modeled liked the Mahabodhi temple in Bodh Gaya.
Kumbheswor Temple: A Shiva temple with two ponds whose water is believed to come from Gosaikunda.
Ratnakar Mahavihar: Also known as Ha Baha, the viahara complex is the official residence of the Kumari of Patan.

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