With 3 days in Kathmandu Valley, you can visit many of the UNESCO World Heritage sites in the area. You can choose the ones you are most interested in and forego others.
Day 3 Highlights: Bhaktapur, Changunarayan
You will definitely need to use a taxi or another transport to reach the sites you will be visiting on this day.
Bhaktapur is another UNESCO site and the best-preserved area in the Kathmandu valley. Among the three Durbar Squares, it was the least damaged from the earthquake. It has amazing architecture. It is also bigger compared to other Durbar Square areas. The price is also more – at 1500 Rupees per person. You can use the ticket for up to a week. For this you need to ask them to make note of it and I believe you need a passport.
The Mallas Dynasty ruled the whole valley from Bhaktapur. However, the King Yakshya divided the kingdom among his three sons in the 15th century. Hence, the three little kingdoms (Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur) were created.
Do wander around and find the beautiful museums and temples. The 55-window palace is very beautiful and worth sparing some time for. It houses a gallery. It also has a lovely yard. Here is also a famous Golden Gate. In this area you will find entrance to the Taleju Temple. Most you can do is peek here, as they won’t let you in, unless you are Hindu. This was a second such place in Nepal we encountered.
Explore the Nyatapola Temple – the tallest (5-storey) and the most outstanding building here. It is dedicated to goddess Lakshmi. Datattreya Temple was constructed in the 15th century by king Yakshya. It is a three-storey temple.
Don’t forget to look for the Peacock window near the temple. You can climb up the stairs of some of them and enjoy the views.
The city still is the pottery center. You will even find a Pottery square here with a lot of crafts lying around to be dried in the sun.
Bhaktapur also retains old way of life. Walking around the small city, it was fascinating to see how people live. To be honest, sometimes, when walking on the side streets, we felt like we were somehow imposing, as people were sitting outside doing their daily housework – like peeling potatoes, washing clothes and dishes and what not. Those narrow streets are like village yards.
From Bhaktapur you can take a taxi to Changunarayan. It is not a very long drive, would take about half an hour. The drive is nice going uphill with the rice field views. As far as I know, there is no public transport that will get you there. Btw, on the way our taxi driver paid some people on the roadblocks. When we asked, why was he paying, he said that otherwise they wouldn’t let him pass. So there seems to be some corrupt scheme in place, that we didn’t fully understand. It was not the entrance fee, as we paid the entrance fee to the temple on the spot – 300 Rupees per ticket.
Changunarayan Temple is a second most prominent Hindu temple in the valley after Pashupatinath and the oldest temple in Kathamndu Valley. However, it was destroyed and restored, so the present temple dates back to the 17th century, although some 5th or 7th century (no exact date of its construction is known) parts are remaining. It is another of the valley’s UNESCO World Heritage sites. It is dedicated to Vishnu.
We were especially fascinated by the statues of Garuda here.
It was interesting to see. However, if you have very limited time and should skip something, I would I guess skip this one.