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Patan Tourism And Travel Guide
9° C / 48.2° F
October to March
1 to 2 Days
Tribhuvan International Airport (7 kms)
International Nepal Railway Station Janakpur
Located in the south-central part of Kathmandu Valley, Patan is the third largest city in Nepal, and one of the finest tourism spots in the country. The original Sanskrit name for Patan is Lalitpur, which can literally be translated to ‘City of Beauty’. The origin of the name is related to a number of legends. The most well known among them is the legend of the god Rato Machhendranath, who was brought to the valley from Assam, India by a group of three people; one of whom was named Lalit. The locals believed that the god Rato Machhendranath would bring rain to the valley and help overcome the ongoing drought in the region. It is also believed it was because of Lalit’s efforts that Rato Machhendranath decided to settle in the valley, and the town was named Lalitpur to commemorate his efforts.
The city is most renowned for its architectural marvels that are mostly concentrated around Durbar Square. Its proximity to Kathmandu means Patan features high on tourism because of easy conveyance facilities; apart from being a city filled with structural delights and markets that are a shopper’s paradise. Here is a quick travel guide for your next trip to Patan.
How to Reach
Patan lies only 7 km away from Kathmandu and is most easily accessible via Tribhuvan International Airport in the capital. A number of domestic airlines operate between the domestic terminal of Tribhuvan Airport and other major cities in the country. Indian airlines like Jet Airways, Air India etc. shuttle between Kathmandu and other top destinations in India.
Once in Kathmandu, one can choose between taking tourist or local buses from Ring Road or Ratna Park to directly reach Patan Durbar Square. An alternate option is to take a private taxi from Thamel to Patan, which will prove more convenient for tourists.
Weather & Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Patan that entails cool temperatures and clear skies, perfect for sightseeing and outdoor activites. Autumn also witnesses the most famous festivals being celebrated in this season; Dashain in October and Tihar in November.
Daytime temperatures in winter are pleasant enough to enjoy all things al fresco. Nights are generally colder, but still fun for enjoying quiet time indoors.
After autumn, spring is the best season to come down to Patan. Flowers are in bloom everywhere, especially Nepal’s national flower, the rhododendrons. The weather is perfect for sightseeing activities and participating in the festival of Holi in March and the Nepali New Year in April.
The month of May is the hottest, and gives way to the heavy monsoon rainfall in the month of June. Summers are not a good time to visit as the rain and heat do not make for a good trip, with muddy roads and clogged streets predominating through most of the season, along with an extremely humid weather.
Things to Do
Patan is home to some of the most brilliant architectural sights in the country. The Royal Palace of Patan features the Durbar Square, which is the most prominent of the monuments listed in the UNESCO World Heritage Site from the Kathmandu Valley. Most of the Hindu and Buddhist temples worth checking out are situated in or around the Durbar Square. Their proximity to each other makes it a convenient option to devote an entire day to sight-see around the city.
Shopping is one of the main attractions of Patan, where you will come across a number of local shops selling traditional handicrafts, artworks and statues. Carpet-making and selling is a major trade in Nepal, and in Jawalakhel Handicraft Centre you can see artists at work with beautiful carpet weaving, and purchase these works of art at great value for money. Brass and other metal arts and statues also feature prominently in bargain shops and make for amazing souvenir and gift options.
Explore Patan Museum:
What was once part of the Royal Palace has now been converted into a museum, and showcases spectacular displays like statues, pictures and wood-carvings from ancient eras gone by; most exhibits holding a histo-religious background. If you would like to bring a part of these exhibits back home with you, there is also a shop within the grounds that sell reproductions of all artworks on display in the museum.
Walk in Godavari Botanical Garden:
The Botanical Garden presents a spectacular sight in the form of bright floral displays, tranquil gardens and forest lands, with colorful butterflies and chirping birds that will add another dimension to your visit. If you are in Patan during springtime or autumn, your trip will be incomplete without paying Godavari Garden a visit.
What To Eat
Since Patan is a popular tourist destination, you will find ample options with cafes and restaurants offering cuisines from all over the world. While local Newari delicacies can be experienced in Newari Kitchen, for more intercontinental options, let your taste buds explore places like Café du Temple, Sing Ma Food Court, Si Taleju Restaurant & Bar, El Mediterraneo, and Dhokaima Café, among many others.