Bhaktapur

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Bhaktapur (Nepali: भक्तपुर Bhaktapur ), also Bhadgaon or Khwopa (Nepal Bhasa: ख्वप Khwopa) is an ancient Newar town in the east corner of the Kathmandu Valley, Nepal. It is located in Bhaktapur District in the Bagmati Zone. It is the third largest city in Kathmandu valley and was once the capital of Nepal during the great Malla Kingdom until the second half of the 15th century.

Bhaktapur is listed as a World Heritage by UNESCO for its rich culture, temples, and wood, metal and stone artwork.

Etymology
"Khwopinggram" is the ancient name of Bhaktapur. The term "Bhaktapur" (Sanskrit/Nepali: भक्तपुर) refers to "The City Of Devotees". This Bhaktapur City is also known as "Khwopa" (Nepal Bhasa: ख्वप) or "Bhadgaon" (Nepali:भादगाँउ) or "Ancient Newari Town" throughout the Kathmandu valley.

History

It is the home of traditional art and architecture, historical monuments and craft works, magnificent windows, pottery and weaving industries, excellent temples, beautiful ponds, rich local customs, culture, religion, festivals, musical mystic and so on. Bhaktapur is still an untouched as well as preserved ancient city, which in fact, is itself a world to explore for tourist.

From time immemorial it lay on the trade route between Tibet/China and India. This position on the main caravan route made the town rich and prosperous[1]

Geography

Bhaktapur is around 13 km east of Kathmandu and lies on the old trade route to Tibet. It occupies an area of around 119 km² at an altitude of 1,401 meters above sea-level. Bhaktapur district, in which the Bhaktapur city lies, is the smallest district of Nepal.

Tourism

This article is written like a travel guide rather than an encyclopedic description of the subject. Please help improve it by rewriting it in an encyclopedic style. (October 2009)

Bhaktapur is a popular day-trip destination for tourists visiting Kathmandu. Lately, with more air-pollution in Kathmandu, more tourists are staying in Bhaktapur for a few days, before trekking arrangements are finished. In addition, although the Mount Everest (i.e. Sagarmatha) is breathtaking and the landscape of Lord Buddha (i.e. Founder of Peace) mysterious, tourists visiting Nepal still don't feel their sojourn complete unless they have experienced Bhaktapur, Nepal's ancient "City of Culture".

Pottery is one of the main tourist attractions in Bhaktapur besides the architecture. In Nepal the city is renowned for its yoghurt or curd Ju-Ju Dhau, traditionally sold in clay bowls.

(THE MAIN ATTRACTION OF BHAKTAPUR)

Four Squares – Durbar Square, Taumadhi Square, Dattatreya Square and Pottery Square.Popular Places – Changu Narayan (World Heritage Site), Nagarkot, Surya Vinayak, Kamal Vinayak, Siddha Pokhari, Chonga Ganesh etc.
Devine Miracolus Vision – Largest Shiva lingum, Golden Spout and Gate, Magnificent peacock windows, around 40 temples etc.

DURBAR SQUARE
Bhaktapur's main square, Durbar Square, houses the 55-window Palace which was constructed by King Jitamitra Malla and was home to royalty until 1769. It is now a National Gallery. Close by is the Golden Gate which leads into Mulchok Court which is home to the Taleju Temple. This temple, like others in the main towns of the Kathmandu Valley, is dedicated to the goddess Taleju Bhawani and includes shrines to both the Taleju Bhawani and Kumari. Entrance to the temple is restricted to Hindus and the living goddess strictly cannot be photographed.

The Durbar square is surrounded by spectacular architecture and vividly showcases the skills of the Newari artists and craftsmen over several centuries. The royal palace was originally situated at Dattaraya square and was only later moved to the Durbar square location.

The Durbar square in Bhaktapur was severely damaged by an earthquake in 1934 and hence appears very spacious than the other ones located at Kathmandu and Patan.