Skip to Content

Patan’s Durbar Square Sans Camera

My first digital camera was a Christmas gift from my parents in 2006. I had been receiving compliments on the Canon PowerShot SD700 IS Digital Elph all along my trip, and had been very happy with the photo quality. I was a quick draw as Gela and others who spent any length of time with me could attest. Unfortunately, the camera started to go haywire toward the end of my trek. I took the opportunity to have it looked at via a camera shop in Thamel (tourist enclave in Kathmandu). There was no charge to investigate the problem and I was assured it'd be looked at by the best technician in the city (what a line!).

For a guy averaging 1,000 photos a month, sightseeing without a camera is tantamount to torture. I figured Patan's Durbar Square would be nothing to write home about, and therefore a great place to go without a camera.

I was wrong!

Patan is a few kilometers south of Kathmandu, and home to the oldest pagodas of the three big Durbar Squares. Time after time, I find myself in awe at the sights in Nepal. The woordworking on the pagodas seemed a clear step above those of the ones in Kathmandu, and I started to become aware of the Kama Sutra scenes etched into the lower ends of the wooden brackets. If the normal stuff didn't float your boat, there was a carving of a woman with a horse!

I ate lunch in the palace restaurant and toured Patan's museum (also within a renovated section of the palace), which was filled with Buddhist and Hindu artwork. The collection on display was fairly small, however the experience of walking through the little doorways and peering out the windows toward the square and palace courtyard were well worth the cost of entry.

Planning a trip? Go Backpacking recommends: