The afternoon rain did not stop the crowd from celebrating the Monsoon Festival of Teej at the Patan Durbar Square. Nepali women dressed up and gathered around the square to perform dances, songs, and rituals. Teej Festival is mostly celebrated by Nepali women for a happy and long-lasting marriage and also for the well-being of their husbands. We stayed at the far end, away from the throng of people and observed the whole scene under an umbrella.
After few minutes, we decided to leave the crowd and get inside the ancient Royal Palace of Patan, the official residence of the Kings of Patan (now called Lalitpur) during the Malla Period. We explored the entire royal residence peeking each of the three courtyards confined within it. A small gateway directed us to the main square, the MUL CHOWK.
This is the oldest of the squares where the Vidya Temple stands at the center and the Taleju Temple is situated on the south corner. Another square is called SUNDARI CHOWK, where the exquisitely carved royal bath takes the center stage.
On one end of the palace, the Keshavev Narayan Temple is placed in the middle of a courtyard named after it – the KESHAV NARAYAN SQUARE. This part of the palace houses the PATAN MUSEUM which exhibits Nepal’s traditional religious art. We spent almost an hour looking into the vast collection of bronze statues, religious objects, and many other pieces of artwork. The display covers an extensive period of the country’s culture, art, and tradition.
Before dusk, we took a cup of tea on a restaurant situated on top of one of the buildings near the entrance of the Durbar Square. The plaza was still lively and packed with people that we had no chance to walk around and see the entire place. But then, it was wonderful to conclude our visit with an overlooking view of the ancient fortified city of Patan with its temples standing next to each other.
Patan Durbar Square is worth spending your time especially if you love to learn about Nepal’s heritage and history. Though this is the smallest among the three Durbar Squares in Kathmandu valley, it is said to be the most outstanding of all, displaying the country’s very own Newari architecture.