Map of Bhaktapur
At 12 km east of Kathmandu
was one of the 3 city kingdoms in the Kathmandu valley (Kathmandu and Patan were the other 2), and the most medieval one. The Durbar Square at Bhaktapur was the best preserved of the 3 cities. Many buildings dated from the 12-15th century. Carved wood lattices and struts under the roofs were very intricate and required a telephoto lens for a good view. Through an ornate golden gate, we went into the royal palace, where we could see many beautiful wood windows. There was a big royal bath in the back, where 2 cobra shaped statues stood. The water was green from disuse, but another brass carving of animals was at the end of the bath, it was probably a spout where the water could come out.
A water well at Bhaktapur, just outside the city gate, built in the 15th century and still in use.
A beast with an elephant like trunk had the trunk raised, in its mouth was a goat whose head was polished smooth from people touching it. On the back of this beast was another smaller reptilie, I would have thought it was a big rat, except it had scales. There was a young couple huddling at the quiet corner, probably not enjoying our presence! A Hindu temple inside the palace was off limits for non-Hindus.
Back at the square, we walked around and looked at more temples. Through some smaller streets, we went to visit a Thangka painting school, where artisans were painting thangkas. We saw the beginners with the simpler thangkas, and masters at higher level with large and complicated ones. We walked back through Taumadhi Square, and saw its tall 5 storied pagoda temple of goddess Siddhi Laxmi. Kids were running up and down the stairs, and kicking a ball around. If you had more time to spend in Nepal, you probably want to spend a day here so you can look around in more leisure and explore the city beyond the main squares.