PHOTO GALLERY: Medieval Bhaktapur City – Nepal
Bhaktapur is one of Nepal’s most famous, beautiful and intriguing towns. Located just 15 km / 10 miles from Kathmandu, in the middle of the broad Kathmandu Valley, Bhaktapur is one of three royal cities in the valley.
Built in the 1200s in Newari architectural styles, the while city is built almost entirely of brick. That includes its roads, houses, shops, plazas, Hindu and Buddhist temples, palaces and monuments. Many buildings also feature intricately carved wood trimmings, carved stones statues and gilded roofs.
Three major plazas, featuring a hodge-podge collection of stately temples and shops, are connected to each other by long, narrow brick roads lined by two-story and three-story brick buildings. Small alleys wind off the main roads, leading into hidden courtyards, tiny temples, people’s homes and to the outskirts of the city.
From outside, the city can be entered by only a few roads and gates, each of which quickly runs into one of the three main plazas.
Nowadays Bhaktapur is a UNESCO World Heritage Site important for its medieval Newari architecture.
For visitors, Bhaktapur makes an easy day-trip from the capital city. However, it’s much more enjoyable to stay overnight in Bhaktapur for a few days to have enough time to explore its many narrow winding brick alleys, gorgeous temples, bustling plazas and to watch the daily habits of local residents.
The recent April, 2015 destructive earthquakes in Nepal have tragically toppled many homes and important temples all over Nepal, including Bhaktapur. As I write, thousands of volunteers are working to help local victims get shelter, food and medical care and to assess the damage to historic towns and remote mountain villages.
I took my most recent trip to Nepal in late 2013, when I re-visited most of my favorite places, including Bhaktapur. There I stayed at a small guest house for three nights while happily exploring the charming brick city.
I put this photo gallery together as a tribute to and reminder of Bhaktapur’s beautiful historic Newari temples, plazas and buildings. Let’s hope the people of Nepal can quickly rebuild their homes, temples and lives. Kudos to the small army of volunteers helping them do so.
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