Tuesday, October 8, 2013

The City of Patan

The City of Patan, also called Lalitpur: The City of Fine Arts, is an ancient city in Nepal located eight kilometers south of Kathmandu City. It's also one of the seven monumental zones that comprise the Kathmandu Valley World Heritage Site.

We paid NPR500 (around PhP250) to enter. It's cheaper compared to Bhaktapur (though to me that's for good reason.) Those who come from countries that are SAARC members pay a lot less.

From Thamel, we took the taxi to Patan which cost us around NPR500. It didn't take long despite the traffic because Patan is pretty close. The driver dropped us off at the ticket entrance where we were given maps and then we simply walked inside the city. I believe you can also take the bus from Kathmandu City to Patan (which is a lot cheaper).

Unlike Bhaktapur which is closed to most vehicles with four or more wheels, Patan is open to traffic. It's quite a challenge to walk around the city with many vehicles honking around but I think it's manageable. Also, compared to Bhaktapur, Patan is much more crowded (not just with foreigners but also locals).

Anyway, I'll let these photos do the talking.

The following photos are from the Hiranya Varna Mahavihar also known as The Golden Temple:

Here's Patan Durbar Square

I took a photo of this shop because I was amused that they sell solar panels in local hardware shops! Nepal has energy problems and as a result, they get frequent power cuts. I think their main source of power is hydropower, which is not very reliable because droughts or simply lack of water in the rivers would mean less power production. That's why they compensate with solar power. Actually, I saw a lot of houses in Kathmandu equipped with solar panels so that they have electricity and hot water even during power cuts. (And this is me being an Energy Engineering major... on indefinite leave lol.)

This is Mahabouddha temple where thousands of images of the Lord Buddha are engraved:

After all the walking, everyone was tired (plus, we just came back from Nagarkot that morning) so we decided to go back to the B&B.

Unfortunately, we had a bad experience with the taxi driver who drove us back to Thamel. He suddenly shot up our fare to NPR1000 and we were like "What? But we only paid 500 to come here by taxi." We were foreigners who didn't know much about the ins and outs of the country and I'm not gonna say any more but it was quite scary for us. In the end, we decided that we didn't want to stress ourselves out so we just paid him the NPR1000.

Durbar Marg lined with trees with purple flowers as seen from the taxi

Patan was a good experience albeit a little stressful because of the crowds and that taxi driver. Like what most people say, if you're not a huge fan of temples, it becomes quite redundant after you've gone to Bhaktapur. However, because I like temples and architecture, I didn't really mind. I kind of wish I listened more to our History classes in high school, though. Haha

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