Earth : Asia : South Asia : Nepal : Kathmandu Valley : Bhaktapur
Bhaktapur  is known variously as “City of Culture", "Living Heritage", "Nepal's Cultural Gem", "An open museum" and a City of Devotees”. Bhaktapur is an ancient city and is renowned for its elegant art, fabulous culture, colorful festivals, traditional dances and indigenous lifestyle of Newari community. It is just 12 kilometers east of Kathmandu, capital of Nepal, but gives the feeling of prehistoric times given the ambiance of traditional homes, lifestyles and environment. The conch shaped historic city is spreading over just an area of 6.88 square kilometer at 1,401 meter altitude. The city was founded in 12th century by King Anand Dev Malla. Bhaktapur was the capital city of the Greater Malla Kingdom in the Kathmandu Valley till the 15th century AD. The many of Bhaktapur's greatest monuments were built by the then Malla rulers.
Bhaktapur has more temples per square foot than Patan or Kathmandu and is far enough out of town to keep the crowds away. As a World Heritage site listed by the UNESCO, Bhaktapur has been heavily restored since a 1934 earthquake severely damaged the city. To further restoration and preservation there is an entrance fee for visitors. In October 2009 this was either 750 NRS or USD $10 for foreigners. Visitors from SAARC member countries (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka) pay 50 NRS.
If you are not arriving as part of a tour group, you may take mini bus (bound for Kamal Binayak stop in Bhaktapur) or big bus (bound for Chyamasingha stop in Bhaktapur) from Bus Stop near Bhadrakali. You can save time by taking Express Bus (this does not stop in between except in Maitighar and Sallaghari) from Bagbazar in Kathmandu. Recently, micro buses also started service of suttling between Kathmandu and Bhaktapur, which are pretty fast.
For those who haven't experienced a public bus in South Asia, it will be a way to (literally!) rub shoulders with locals. In either case the ride takes about 40-60 minutes and drops you off just outside of town. The cost of the fare from Kathmandu to Bhaktapur is approximately 35 NRS (Sept 2009) by bus for local people. Average taxi fee from Thamel to Bhaktapur (one way) costs about 800-1000 NRS for the 16 km drive. You can easily hail a taxi or pick up a return bus to either Patan or Kathmandu just outside of the first main gate that leads into the city.
Once in Bhaktapur, walking is really the only way to experience the quiet, dusty lanes squares. There are no rickshaws, tuk-tuks, or taxis allowed inside the city-- an inconvenience more than made up for by the quiet and clean air.
Bhaktapur is all about pottery. You will see it everywhere, drying in the sun, displayed on tables and shelves in front of shops and homes alike. The town is equally famous for artistic mask made up of black clay and colorful painting on it. The masks portray various gods and deities and carry special significance in festivals.
Thanka, a traditional painting is also found in the town. Metalwork and jewelry can also be found, but there's more selection on Patan's backstreets.
Don't leave Bhaktapur without trying some of their famous yogurt with local honey -- Juju-dhau, literally the "King of all yogurt."
Tourist restaurants can be found in almost every building surrounding Dubar Square. Small local restaurants can be found on the main road into town, but they will probably only serve Dhal Bhat Takari (lenis, rice, and mild vegetable curry) and tea.
There's really no reason to stay the night in Bhaktaphur, and few places to do it. What accommodations there are can be found around Dubar Square.
SHIVA GUEST HOUSE , as our well-wishers say, is suited to all types of travelers. For your personal comfort, we offer 15 well appointed rooms with bath and without bath in the shivaguesthouse, and 15 room with attached bath in Shiva guest house 2 which is just 2 min walk from the pls one, many often overlooking the palatial square in the gracious elegance. For the gourmands and gourmands, we have the Café Corner Restaurant, which serve a wide verity of cuisine to suite both you pallet and wallet. The culinary delights here range from Newari and Nepali Dal Bhat to Chinese, Mexican, Italian, Indian and Continental delicacies. And when comes the question of the quality of our culinary offerings. We never forget Hygiene is our top priority. Adding to the mesmerizing ambience, we also have rooftop garden from which you can savor the splendor of nature’s graciousness all around on the south, the bliss you feel at SHIVA GUEST HOUSE is something different.
Durbar Square. Tel: 977-1-6613912; Fax: 977-1-6610740; E-mail: [email protected]
www.shivaguesthouse.com or wwww.bhaktapurhotel.com The cafe corner restaurant