Patan Durbar Square

BY ALINA SHRESTHA
Nov 03, 2011

A Nepali student from the 11th grade on why her city's ancient district needs preservation.

1161 An old man carries water in his arm from a Sundhara at Patan Durbar Square, 15 July 2011. Photo: Alina ShresthaPatan Durbar Square is enlisted in World Heritage Site due to it’s ancient art and architecture. It is located in Lalitpur district, not too far from Kathmandu city. Due to its ancient art and impressive architecture, Patan Durbar Square attracts large number of tourists.

There are many temples in Patan Durbar Square, conceived and constructed in varying styles - for instance, though this is Nepal, some temples carry distinct Chinese influences and look like pagodas.

There is also a Krishna Temple in Patan Durbar Square where on any regular day, hordes of people come to worship. But on Krishnastami, is a Hindu festival celebrating the birth of Krishna, an avatar of the god Vishnu, masses of people swarm at Patan Durbar Square's Krishna Temple to worship God Krishna. During this occasion, locals organise a special mela program, or festival fair, in Krishnastami.

1162 The big bell constructed during the Malla regime in Patan Durbar Square. Photo: Alina ShresthaApart from the Krishna Temple, there is the statue of God Shiva in Patan Durbar Square. It was constructed during the Malla regime in the 18th Century by King Bhupatindra Malla and Jayasthiti Malla. To me, this was one of their great contributions to the valley. The enchanting beauty of Patan Durbar Square attracts a large number of tourist which helps to increase.

As I observe the tourists come and go, it becomes apparent to me the importance of foreign currency, which I believe is a major contributor to the development of my Nepal. Apart from Patan Durbar Square's service as a tourist attraction, it also has a religious theme especially that of Hindusim and it also encapsulates the ancient and medieval history of this valley.

1163 Sixteen handed Ganesh with Goddess in Pata Durbar Square. Ganesh is known as the main God of the Hindu religion. Photo: Alina SheresthaDespite its significance, the Shiva statue has weithered and some of the other statues have broken over time, and I feel that some areas could do with a renovation to enhance its natural beauty. This effort is not only the responsibility of the Government but the duty of every individual and the community, to preserve this nationals natural and historical beauty. I fear that if the process of deterioration is not soon countered, we might lose what remains of our precious ancient art and architecture, and that we will lose much needed tourists dollars.

The ancient art and architecture is very important for our culture and economy, so we should preserve it so that our future generation can also know the importance of it, and appreciate its beauty.

Alina Shrestha was one of 34 students who attended the photography workshop by theasiamag.com, held in Kathmandu between February and March 2011. Geeta Sunam was awarded a scholarship by the Little Sisters Fund Underprivileged Girls Education Support Program.