Lalitpur, the third-largest city of Nepal, is one of the newest metropolitan cities. Located in the south-central part, it has a vibrant heritage and culture. Situated on the south side of the Bagmati river, it was known as Patan historically. Believed to be founded in the third century by the Kirat dynasty, it saw its expansion by the licchavis. During the medieval period, Malla kings contributed to its growth. Lalitpur is said to have been founded by King Veer Deva in 299AD. However, there is a lack of concentrated conclusions from scholars about it. At the same time, many believe that it is one of the oldest cities of Nepal founded by Kirat rulers. Yala is one of the most popular Newar names for this place. In 1769, when Narayan Shah plundered Lalitpur, people had to suffer from great atrocities.
The town has an agricultural economy known for millets, vegetables, rice, wheat. An artistic city, Lalitpur is often known as ‘City of Beauty’. It lies at an hour’s distance from Kathmandu, which makes it a short drive. Durban Square here is also a part of the UNESCO world heritage site. Over the years, the beautiful buildings here have suffered due to fire, earthquakes, and invasions, yet it is celebrated due to its rich architecture. The city of Lalitpur has its roots connected to Buddhism. It was designed in the shape of a Buddhist Dharma Chakra. According to legends, when emperor Ashoka visited the city in 250 BC and erected five stupas, one was constructed in the center of Patan. Having more than 1200 Buddhist monuments, it is a very crucial part of Buddhism’s culture. A portion of the Durban square is the Krishna temple built in 1637 by King Sidhhi Narasingh Malla. One of the other iconic pilgrimage sites is the Kumbeshwar Temple, one of the oldest cities. The entire town is a host to so many historical monuments, proof of the city’s heritage and tradition.
The Patan Dhoka, Durbar Square, Mahabouddha Temple, Central zoo are some famous landmarks in the city. It has a well-connected network of Roads and railways. Multiple modes of transport operate in the town, helping in commuting. Apart from the iconic Durbar Square, the Golden Temple is a crucial attraction. It’s a Buddhist monastery, also known as Kwa Bahal and Hiranyavarna Mahavihara. Talking about the culture, Lalitpur has a rich cultural heritage when it comes to arts and traditions. It is known far and wide for its making of metallic and stone carving statue. Also called the city of festivals and feasts, it is trendy for its handicrafts. The livelihood of 60% population comes from the handicrafts business. A larger part of the city’s population is engaged in trade and has multiple small-scaled cottage industry.
The beautiful city saw extensive damage from the Nepal Earthquake of 2015. However, with time the town is growing intensively to cover up for all the damage that it has suffered.