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Places to Visit
How to Reach

By Air

The closest airport to Lalitpur is Tribhuvan International Airport (IATA: KTM, ICAO: VNKT) is an international airport situated in Kathmandu, Nepal is around 5 km from Lalitpur.The first jet aircraft to land at Tribhuvan was a Lufthansa Boeing 707 which touched down on the 6,600 feet (2,000 m) runway in 1967.Royal Nepal Airlines commenced Jet operations at the airport in 1972 with Boeing 727 aircraft.

By Bus

Catch a blue or green bus on Kathmandu's Ring Road (loops around Kathmandu Valley)for 15 to 20 rps.Tell the cashier/attendent that you want to go to Lalitpur.He'll let you know when you get there.It's only a 15 min walk to Lalitpur Dubar Square from Ring Road.Micro Bus from Ratnapark in Kathmandu (12 rps, 8 rps for students/volunteers with a Nepalese ID card).

Key places to visit
Durbar Square, Mahaboudha Temple, Machchhendranath temple, Hiranayavarna Makavikar, Kumbheshwar Temple, Ashok Stupa


Places to Visit

Durbar Square

is the Palace Square of Lalitpur.Approaching the square from the south end you have the palace on your right and a series of temples on your left.(Admission to the area for tourists is R200. You are trusted to pay this at a booth at the south end of Durbar Square or at another entrance to the area further to the north as there is no formal ticket control).The Palace was built on the site of a fort that stood until 1734 and served as the residence of the Malla rulers of the then Lalitpur state.It is divided up into a succession of courtyards (or “chowks”).Unfortunately only the last of these on the right (which houses the museum) is open on a regular basis, due to problems with theft of artifacts.Try peering through cracks in the doors to see what you are missing! The first palace building is Sundari Chowk which was constructed in 1647.The three-storey temple on the palace side is the Degutale temple, constructed in 1661 after an earlier one burned down.Mul Chowk was the central part of the old palace and in recent times has suffered much theft of ornamental woodwork.

Mahaboudha Temple

This is a a stone temple covered with terracotta tiles, which include 1008 Budha images.It was modelled on a larger temple in Bodhgaya, India and took one family four generations to complete.It's 5-10 minutes walking distance from Durbar Square.

Machchhendranath temple

This is a good illustration of the problems now faced with theft of artifacts.The temple is now surrounded by a strong fence and each statue has its own individual fence.Statues are missing from two stands, suggesting that the temple has already fallen victim.Machchhendranath also gives his name to an annual festival when a 25 meter tall "chariot" is paraded through Lalitpur. If you note all the wires and cables across the streets at levels much lower than 25m. you can realise what a complicated exercise this is.The parade takes place between April and June, with the chariot staying the night at different locations.The end of the parade is supposed to coincide with the onset of the monsoon rains.The wheels of the chariot are over 2m in diameter.

Hiranayavarna Makavikar

An enormous number of gold- and silver-covered decorations and some excellent bronze statues make this well worth being the only temple in Lalitpur you have to pay to enter. Construction goes back to the early 1400s, although some pieces pre-date construction. Admission Rs 50.

Kumbheshwar Temple

One of the two five-story pagoda temples of the Valley. The sunken basin is usually empty but around August is filled for the Kumbheshwar Mela full moon day festival. At this time the temple becomes packed. Sheep roaming the temple are those that have been spared sacrifice.

Ashok Stupa

Old Lalitpur can be reached by turning left off the main road from Kathmandu after the Himalaya hotel or by continuing on the main road to Pulchowk and then turning left.Immediately after the pedestrian bridge at Pulchowk is the old Buddhist stupa of Ashok. Next to that is the building where the structure of the Machchhendranath chariot is kept when not being used.

Right Time to Visit

February - May
August - October


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