Lalitpur Metropolitan City , historically Patan , is the third largest city of Nepal after Kathmandu and Pokhara and it is located in the south-central part of Kathmandu Valley which is a new metropolitan city of Nepal. Lalitpur is also known as Manigal. It is best known for its rich cultural heritage, particularly its tradition of arts and crafts. It is called city of festival and feast, fine ancient art, making of metallic and stone carving statue. At the time of the 2011 Nepal census it had a population of 226,728 in 54,748 individual households.The city received extensive damage from an earthquake on 25 April 2015
Sightseeing Area in Lalitpur:
1.Patan Durbar Square:
Patan Durbar Square is situated at the centre of the city of Lalitpur in Nepal. It is one of the three Durbar Squares in the Kathmandu Valley, all of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. One of its attraction is the ancient royal palace where the Malla Kings of Lalitpur resided.
The Durbar Square is a marvel of Newar architecture. The square floor is tiled with red bricks. There are many temples and idols in the area. The main temples are aligned opposite of the western face of the palace. The entrance of the temples faces east, towards the palace. There is also a bell situated in the alignment beside the main temples. The Square also holds old Newari residential houses. There are other temples and structures in and around Patan Durbar Square built by the Newa People.
The square was heavily damaged by the earthquake in April 2015.
2.Chobar Manjushree park:
Manjushree park is located in Chobhar gorge of Kirtipur municipality, which lies in the southern part of Kathmandu Valley. Chobhar gorge, where the Manjushree Cave is located, is related with the interesting legends of the origin of Kathmandu Valley.
According to one of the legends, Kathmandu valley was a lake surrounded by hills during the Pleistocene era. It is believed that Manjushree, a divine saint from China had came here for pilgrimage and saw a huge lotus emanating bright light at the center of the lake. So he cut a deep gorge allowing the water to drain from the lake because he wanted to observe and worship the lotus.
The base of the lake became the present Kathmandu valley and the gorge is called Chobhar gorge now. That is why the cave is named after the name of Manjushree.
It is 7 kilometers from central Kathmandu and one hour’s drive is enough to reach there if there is no traffic jams in the valley. At the base of the gorge flows the Bagmati River. A 104-year-old suspension bridge gives visitors the opportunity to enjoy the sight of the gorge, Bagmati River and entrance of other mystical caves (which are not open to the public).
3.Godawari Botanical Garden
At the foot of Phulchowki is the Godavari Botanical Gardens, a site well suited to bird watchers who wish to avoid the rigors of hill climbing.Encircled by lush green hills and surrounded by pleasant environment and natural diversity, Godavari is situated 11 km east of Lalitpur’s, Lagankhel. The garden is a plantation containing exotic and local flora, and is a ‘Garden of Dreams’ for birds and bird watchers alike. The Godavari area should be visited for bird watching only on working days, as on public holidays it is a popular picnicking location and the crowds reduce the chances of seeing the more timid birds. Bird watching in and around the Godavari Botanical Gardens one come across the same birds as on the lower slopes of the Phulchowki hill. Flocks of Tibetan Serins are common in winter.The favorable climate and good soil enable a rich selection of orchids, ferns, succulents and cacti to thrive in the Botanic Gardens. Unfortunately, few of these plants, typical of Nepal’s wealth of flora, are marked. On Saturdays and public holidays the gardens are crowded; numerous families organize boisterous picnic parties and stroll through the park.
4.Kirtipur (Newari valley)
Kirtipur (Kirtipur comes from the Sanskrit terms Kirti (glory) and pur (city)) is an ancient city of Nepal. It is located in the Kathmandu Valley 5 km south-west of the city of Kathmandu. It is one of the five municipalities in the valley, the others being Kathmandu, Lalitpur, Bhaktapur and Madhyapur Thimi. It is one of the most famous and religious places to visit. Many people visit this place to not only to see the beauty of nature but also to visit temples. The city was listed as a UNESCO tentative site in 2008.
5.Khokana (Ancient City for culture)
Khokana is a former Village Development Committee (VDC) which has been merged with the neighbouring VDC’s of Bungamati, Chhampi, Dukuchhap,Sainbu and other 38 VDC’s to form the Metropolitan City of Lalitpur in Lalitpur District in the Bagmati Zone of central Nepal.
Khokana, a traditional and tiny Newari village about 8 kilometers south of Kathmandu (on the outskirts of Patan). Khokana is mainly known for the production of rich mustard oil since ancient time. It was also the first town in Nepal to be lit with electricity in 1911 AD during the reign of Rana Prime Minister Chandra Shamsher.
Khokana has been nominated to be listed as a Unesco World Heritage, representing a vernacular village and its mustard-oil seed industrial heritage.