Bhaktapur is about an hour bus ride east of Kathmandu centre. After a long walk to the bus station (I use this term loosely. It is a congregation of mini-buses in a dusty clearing where you have to shout out for “Bhaktapur” and hope that the young teenager hanging out of the open bus door can be trusted to guide you to the correct bus. No labels of course!), we crammed into a seat and made our way through and out of Kathmandu.
We were dropped off at the bus stop in the east of Bhaktapur, paid our entrance fee, and weaved through the brick laid streets of the “cultural capital of Nepal”. With history going back to the early 8th century, it used to be Nepal’s capital between the 12th and 15th century.
We passed locals drying rice in any available spare area, hanging dried corn, and selling handicrafts, pottery and fruit in the easternmost square, Tachupal Tole.
Be sure to try Bhaktapur’s famous Juju Dhau (The King of Curds) yogurt. Chilled, super creamy and delicious. There are many stores at the west end of town.
Bhaktapur really is a nice quiet break from the hustle and bustle of smoky Kathmandu. Dattatraya Square is the oldest part of the city; an open museum especially for wood carving, brass and bronze.
Taumadhi Tole is another important square with the best examples of engineering and architecture of multi roofed temples, water tanks and stone and wood sculptures.
We stayed two nights, which was perfect to see everything and observe the sunset sitting atop Nyatapola Temple, admiring the changing array of rich bronze colours.
Visited 1 & 2 November 2013.