How To Visit Patan Durbar Square, Kathmandu

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Patan Durbar Square is in the city of Lalitpur, Nepal. It is one of three Durbar Squares in the Kathmandu Valley and all are UNESCO listed. The other Durbar Squares can be found in Bhaktapur and in central Kathmandu at the Hanuman Dhoka Palace Complex. Durbar Square simply means Royal Square and describes the plazas and structures around and adjacent to the Royal Palaces of Nepal. The Patan Durbar Square is crowded with fascinating Hindu temples and Buddhist monuments of stunning beauty.

Nepal Travel Kathmandu Patan
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The Patan Durbar Square has many notable temples and buildings including the Krishna Mandir, Bhimsen Temple, Vishwanath Temple and Taleju Bhawani Temple. There is also the palace itself three main courtyards Mul Chowk, Sundari Chowk and Keshav Narayan Chowk. The Golden Temple or rat temple is just off the main Patan Durbar Square, to the north. You can visit independently, you can easily get a taxi to Patan from anywhere in Kathmandu, or you can walk. Alternatively book a no-hassle Kathmandu tour, for easy (faster) sightseeing.

Watch our short Patan Durbar Square video below. It includes the other 2 Durbar squares nearby.

Patan Durbar Square also has its own Kumari (living child Goddess ) but unlike the Kathmandu deity, I don’t believe it’s possible to see her. I could be wrong. We have seen the Kumari at the Kathmandu Durbar Square, she sometimes appears at the window of her residence there. You may need a guide to be able to see her.

Patan Durbar Square

Patan Durbar Square Nepal
A view of history, from a rooftop cafe overlooking Patan’s stunning Durbar Square.

You may know that Patan Durbar Square was where we met Prince Harry in 2016. If you click through on the link you can read all about that, this page is now our main guide to Patan Durbar Square and surrounding areas.

It’s one of many places to visit in Nepal. If you’re short of time maybe just visit the Kathmandu Durbar Square and skip Patan and Bhaktapur, but if you possibly can, make time to see them all.

How to Get to Patan Durbar Square from Kathmandu

Getting a taxi is probably your best option. The distance from Thamel in Kathmandu (where most tourists stay) to Patan Durbar Square is around 6 Km and the taxi journey should take 20 minutes and over depending on traffic.

Obviously you could walk, it’s only 6 Km and we have walked here without issue.

A local bus is also possible, again the journey should be under half an hour. Know that Patan and Lalitpur are interchangeable, both deriving from one word,  Lalitapattan.

Patan Durbar Square Entrance Fee

Yes there is an admission fee and daily entrance fees tend towards the steep in Nepal. If you plan on visiting more than once or are staying in Patan you’ll need to ask for an extended entry ticket and for this you will need your passport and visa. The same applies for Kathmandu and Bhaktapur Durbar Squares.

You can find admission fees for all Heritage sites in the Kathmandu Valley here. Note they are different for locals, western tourists and local tourists.

If you arrive by taxi your driver will probably drop you right in front of the ticket booth.

Does the Patan Durbar Square Have Much Earthquake Damage and Should You Visit?

earthquake damage patan durbar square kathmandu nepal
Props hold up earthquake damaged historic buildings at the Patan Durbar Square.

There is some damage at the Patan Durbar Square site but it could have been so much worse. One or two buildings have crumbled and many are propped up but yes, you absolutely should still visit. Damage isn’t as bad as in some other parts of the Kathmandu Valley and restoration is underway.

Patan Durbar Square History

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The Patan Durbar Square has not got a very clear history, most of the temples, shrines and buildings were built at different times under different kings. Collectively they are a stunning testament to Newari endeavour.

Lalitpur itself is cornered by 4 great Buddhist stupas said to be built by Emperor Ashoka.

This is a brief overview of some of the major temples, buildings and shrines that make up Patan Durbar Square and their history. A Durbar Square is a collection of buildings and courtyards, not really a single entity. It would equate to a Royal Court complex.

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The Krishna Mandir at Patan Durbar Square. This is the only entirely stone structure in the square.

The Krishna Mandir was built in the 17th century. According to several sources it is one of the most important temples in the square. It is commonly thought that the temple was built because the king (King Siddhi Narsimha Malla) saw Krishna and his consort Radha standing outside of his palace in a dream.

He ordered that a temple be built in the same spot. This construction has engraved scenes from the ancient Hindu epics the Ramayana and the Mahabharata.

Mul Chowk doors and entrance

Mul Chowk is the largest and most famous courtyard of the palace. Bidya Temple and Taleju Mandir are inside. Statues of Ganga and Jamuna stand on either side of the shrine of Taleju riding upon a turtle and a crocodile respectively Taleju is an important Deity of the Nepali Kings. Next to the Bidya temple there is a wooden posts used to tether animals for sacrifice.

At the doorway in our picture above, you’ll see animal entrails draped above the door. Had our guide not pointed them out I doubt we would have noticed them. Much of this part of Patan Durbar Square has been restored in recent years.

We’ve never been able to enter this courtyard to see for ourselves. Whenever we’ve visited it has been closed to the public.

 The Golden Temple

The Golden Temple is a must-see in Nepal and it’s hidden away on a little alleyway to one side of the Patan Durbar Square.

Inside the golden temple Kathmandu Nepal. Elephants
The Golden Temple. Lighting Candles Patan Durbar Square Kathmandu, Nepal

The doorway to the tiny Golden Temple is guarded by the male and female lion statues in the photo above. Just inside the doorway you’ll find a little ticket booth. The entrance fee here is small.

Hotels Near Patan and in Lalitpur

Hotels Near Patan Durbar Square

If you’re looking for accommodation in Lalitpur or near Patan Durbar Square, check out The Inn Patan. It has some of the very best reviews in the area and has traditional charm. View this property here for prices and availability.


Patan Durbar Square is well worth visiting as are all 3 Durbar squares in the Kathmandu Valley. Try to find out a bit about the buildings and history of these historic places before you go. We’ve visited several times now and in creating this blog post we’ve learned so much more that we just have to go back again.

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About the author
Alyson Long
Alyson Long is a British medical scientist who jumped ship to chase dreams. A former Chief Biomedical Scientist at London's West Middlesex Hospital she started in website creation and travel writing in 2011. Alyson is a full-time blogger and travel writer, a published author, and owns several websites. World Travel Family is the biggest. A lifetime of wanderlust and over 6 years of full-time travel, plus a separate 12 month gap year, has given Alyson and the family some travel expert smarts to share with you on this world travel site. Today Alyson still travels extensively to update this site and continue her mission to visit every country, but she's often at home on her farm in Australia.

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