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Patan

Bhaktapur means "the city of devotees" in the Sanskrit language. It is also known as Bhadgaon and was founded in 889 AD by King Anand Dev. Today it covers an area of four square miles and is flanked by the Khasa Khusung and Hanumante Rivers. The palace complex in the middle of the city portrays the prosperity of the Malla years and the details in which the craftspeople then worked. The Palace of Fifty-five Windows stands in the square and it was home to many kings of Bhaktapur. They even ruled over Kathmandu and Patan from the twelfth century to the 14th century. The massive gate to the square was made by King Bhupatindra Malla (1696 to 1722) who took pride in his own engineering and building skills. His skills must have been impressive indeed as the gate, though it looks small now, was among the biggest in the valley and daunted many an enemy. It is sturdy even now and stands firmly. Among the other monuments in Bhaktapur are the big bell, the Golden Gate, the five-tiered temple of Nyatapola, the Bhairab Temple, and the Dattatreya Square with its woodcarving and metalwork museums. Surrounded by beautiful farming area, the traveler to Bhaktapur will easily fall in love with the city. Bhaktapur is perhaps the most popular of the three Newar towns of the Kathmandu Valley. Newar art and architecture here rival the best craftsmanship of the Malla period (from the 12th to the 18th century). Though a massive earthquake of 1934 destroyed many temples, bahals (monastery courtyards) and residences, the city is still a living proof of the highest craft standards in this part of the world. As the visitor wanders through narrow brick paved streets, many alleys will show hidden shrines and statues. Clay craftmanship as well as cloth weaving is still practiced here very much as in the past. Fourteen kilometers east of Kathmandu, this peaceful, conservative town stands in sharp contrast to the bustle of its two adjacent cities.