A few kilometers south east of Kathmandu lies Patan, also known as Lalitpur, which means "the city of beauty". The old kingdom of Lalitpur nowadays is a part of Kathmandu Valley and the hub of many NGOs, INGOs, embassies and a significant number of project offices hosted by the United Nations’ body.
Patan has traditionally been the city of arts, as Bhaktapur has been better known for its agricultural prospects and Kathmandu, for its inclination towards being current and practical.
Lalitpur came with its 2300 years of history, which held such a strong appeal that I really wanted to explore it. I walked through narrow and busy streets where traders would put up a display table for their products, right outside their shops.
Behind every next corner would be another shrine and some nicely decorated cobblestones with dashes of pink, red and yellow colors indicating the ubiquity of Hindu gods.
Durbar Square from the north, proffered a distinct architectural style with elaborate wood carvings. Even though the Square in Patan was relatively smaller than the Squares in Kathmandu or Bhaktapur; it was very exquisite; as the different elements & structures in the Square were in complete sync, contributing to a fantastic wholesome sight.
I had a cup of tea in one of the rooftop cafés surrounding the Square, but I still had a little time left. So I decided to quickly visit the Maha Bauddha Temple, "the temple of a thousand Buddhas" where every single brick had a Buddha relic engraved on it.
I had spent a beautiful day relishing in the 23-decade-long history of Lalitpur, and then as dusk slowly blanketed the city, it was time for me to return back to the new age Kathmandu.
Story & Photography: Sonja Marie Michel
(Sonja Marie Michel is a German citizen, currently working as a photography intern, under the guidance of professional photographer Mr. Kumar Ale at NepalSutra™).