During the Lalitpur Festival in 1998, the concept of an inner city tour for visitors was started by the Lalitpur Sub-Metropolitan City to showcase its
achievements and development works in the city. This tour was also intended to highlight and promote the rich cultural and architectural heritage of
Patan. This tour later became known as the Alternative Tour of Patan that took a visitor through the narrow lanes and inner courtyards providing an
insider’s view of life and activities of the local communities.
Realizing that the success of this novel tour depended on its proper interpretation, about 250 tourist guides have been trained with the Hotel
Management and Tourist Training Centre and the Tourist Guide Association. Urban Development through Local Efforts (UDLE), a GTZ project, extended its
support for the publication of this tour map.
Changing Face of Patan Alternative Tour Introduction
Patan (Lalitpur) is one of the several Newari towns whose history, architecture and urban form are unique. This didn’t happen by accident. In fact until
recently the development of Newari towns was controlled by traditional rules and regulations that were an extension of the Newari way of life. Despite
modern development trends, evidence of these traditional controls can still be seen today.
The purpose of this tour is to visit selected areas of Patan to see this evidence and to understand how and why modern ways of living are forcing Newari
towns to change. The tour will pass through the areas of the town that are seldom visited. Features of traditional interest will be identified along the
The changes, which you will see during the tour, are occurring due to:
The high cost of land, resulting in the development of agricultural land.
Densification of the old town through encroachment.
Hereditary land subdivision and its impact in the old towns.
The demise of the guthis.
The high cost of traditional building materials, and loss of traditional building skills.
The value of old building skills.
The value of old building in relation to the needs and life style of today.