Bhaktapur, situated at an altitude of 1401 meters, is a home of medieval art and architecture. The urban city covers an area of 4 square miles. Shaped like a conch shell, Bhaktapur means the city of devotees. Pottery and weaving are its traditional industries. The city lies about 14 kilometers east of Kathmandu and can be reached by car or any other public transport.
The major sightseeing places in Bhaktapur are
The main square of the city contains innumerable temples and other architectural showpieces like: the Lion Gate, a Statue of King Bhupatindra Malla, a Picture Gallery, the Golden Gate, the Palace of 55 Windows, the Batsala Temple, the Bell of Barking Dogs, and a replica of Pashupatinath Temple.
The Lion Gate, which was built during the reign of King Bhupatindra Malla, is adorned with stone figures of Hanuman, Ghairav, and Narasingh Narayan. A statue of the Malla King in the act of worship is placed on a column facing the palace. Of the many statues in Nepal, this is considered to be the most magnificent.
The Picture Gallery contains ancient paintings belonging to Hindu and Buddhist schools of Tantrism of various periods and descriptions.
The Golden Gate is the entrance to the main courtyard and the Palace of 55 Windows. It was built by King Ranjit Malla and is one of the most beautiful and richly carved specimens of its kind showing the Goddess Kali and Garuda, the winged carrier of Lord Vishnu. This gate is embellished with monsters of marvelous intricacy.
King Bhupatindra Malla built the Palace of 55 Windows in the seventeenth century. Among the brick walls, with their gracious setting and sculptural design, is a balcony of 55 windows. This balcony is a masterpiece of woodcarving.
The stone temple of Batsala Devi, which is also located in the Durbar Square, is full of intricate carvings. This temple also shows a beautiful example of Shikhara style architecture in Nepal. There is a bronze bell on the terrace of the temple that is also known as the bell of barking dogs. When it peals, the local dogs start barking. This bell, placed in 1737 A.D. by King Ranjit Malla, was used to sound curfew during his reign. The bell is rung every morning while worshipping the Goddess Taleju.
King Bhupatindra Malla built this five-story pagoda in 1702 A.D.. It stands on a five story terraced platform. On each of the terraces squat pairs of figures: two famous wrestlers, two elephants, two lions, two griffins, and Baghini and Singhini, the tiger and the lion goddesses. Each pair of figures is considered ten times stronger than the ones immediately below, while the lowest pair, the two strong men, Jaya Malla and Phatta Malla, was reputedly ten times stronger than any other men. This is one of the tallest pagodas and is famous for its massive structure and subtle workmanship. The temple was built for Goddess Laxmi
This temple was first built as a one-story pagoda during the reign of King Jagat Jyoti Malla, and later changed into a three-story temple in 1718 A.D. by King Bhupatindra Malla. The temple is noted for its artistic grandeur. It is dedicated to Lord Bhairav, the god of Terror.
This is a shrine of Ganesh, the elephant-headed God, situated in the beautiful surroundings of Bhadgaun, placed in a sylvan setting to catch the first rays of the rising sun. The view of the city of Bhaktapur is seen from here with snow-capped peaks in the background. Nestled in a thick forest, it is a good picnic spot flanked by many attractive landscapes. It is easily accessible by trolley bus.
Located at the end of a long ridge, which runs well into the Valley, this temple is said to have been build in 323 AD by King Hari Dutta Varma. The temple is richly decorated with sculptures and carvings. It is said to be the oldest temple in the Valley. Situated about 153 meters above the level of Kathmandu Valley, it affords a beautiful view of the surrounding countryside. An all-weather motorable road connects it with Bhaktapur City