Patan Durbar Square is a world heritage site that is located at the Lalitpur, a major metropolitan city that is adjacent to the Kathmandu. Nepal has three Durbar Square, and this one is one of those three. From my understanding, the Durbar square means the royal complex that comprises with a court yard, lot of temples and shrines, and many more edifices.
The Mallya kings of Lalitpur are considered the founder of this Patan Durbar Square but the exact history behind this totally unclear even in these days. Most of the edifices from the around are probably from the 16th century and constructed during the reign of King Siddhinarasimha Mallya and his son Srinivasa sukriti. Later during the massive earthquake of 25 April 2015 had taken a toll by causing a severe damage on this heritage site (killed near about 9000 people from whole Nepal till this date).
I had a chance to visit place during one Monday. It was during the rainy season and the sky was cloudy with a chilling wind. It was afternoon when we have reached there (30 minutes of drive from our house). There were lot of local tourists out there that time and the place was jam packed. Most of the people were Nepali, and only few tourists.
It requires an entry fee for the foreigners here. But we didn't find anyone near the ticket box that time. We have walked around the streets of the premise. There were a lot of temples around. Also the residential buildings from that place were having some sort of similar architecture of the temples. We have entered few of those buildings (residential) and they do not mind if anybody sneaks inside. They are used to with it.
As the place was too much crowded, we have decided to walk at the outside of this premise. We have gone slightly far from the main tourist attraction. The buildings were very old there and were giving a feelings like the 'Old Dhaka of Bangladesh'. It started getting darker quickly since it was a rainy day. And also it started drizzling and we had to run for a shed quickly.
There are several rooftop restaurants available beside the area. You can enter any of those and have your lunch or dinner or any mild snacks. Those restaurants will help you to observe the Durbar square from a bird's eye view. I forgot the name of restaurant that we have used (probably Third Eye or something like that). It was raining when we have ordered our meal. The place was looking mysterious under the dark cloud with the rains. We have enjoyed Buff-meat Sadekho, Nepali version of Pizza, and few other things during that sitting.
I forgot to mention, at the end of the day we have found a group people were dancing with the music. They were wearing colorful masks and dresses. From one of my local friends I came to know that was some kind of Yatra (a kind of festival). Probably that was a reason behind the overwhelming crowd. For your information, the people from Patan are renowned for their arts, crafts, and festivals.
How to Go:
This place is very easy to access if you feel generous on that day. It should take around 250-350 Nepali rupees from the Thamel, the ultimate gathering point for the tourists at Nepal. It will be a 25-30 minutes of drive from that place.
Alternately, you can use the public transports as well. Those are cheap but slightly crowded. From Thamel you can have a short 10-15 minutes of walking to come to the Ratna Park [GPS coordinate (27°42'25.04"N, 85°18'55.12"E)]. There you'll find a lot of public transports which will drop you at the Patan. The fare could be 10 to 15 Nepali rupees.
Local people from Nepal are very much friendly and cooperative with the tourists. You can ask them for your direction without any hesitation. And you have your GPS coordinate for the destination on your device as well, it is (27°40'24.39"N, 85°19'30.93"E).
I am not sure about the exact amount, but the entry fee for the Nepali people is free. For the SAARC people it is 100 Nepali rupee, and for the other country tourists it is 1000 or 1200 Nepali rupee.
Best time to visit:
This is from my personal observation, any place from Nepal is crowded at Saturday as it is the weekend. And Durbar Square like places which are near to the city get crowded at the afternoon. So I think it will be better if you can visit the place during the noon at a working day. You should find the area having less crowd.
What to do:
There are lot of things to do here. You can explore the Museum, temples, and road side old buildings. There are several souvenir shops nearby which are selling lot of handicrafts. I have liked the puppets (or Muppet) hanging on the shops. But didn't by any! And of course you should spend few moments at the rooftop restaurants nearby.
Patan Durbar Square,
GPS coordinate: (27°40'24.39"N, 85°19'30.93"E),
This article has written by Lonely Traveler,
for the blog http://icwow.blogspot.com/