Patan Walkabout
Following the Alternative Tour guidebook, another attractive book, the Patan Walkabout was also published with detailed descriptions of the route covering almost fifty percent of the tour included in the Alternative Tour. This book was published with financial contributions from Lalitpur Sub-Metropolitan City and UDLE, edited by Mr. Kanak Mani Dixit and written by Mr. Bijay Lal Shrestha.

The proceeds from the sale of this book are earmarked for the conservation of cultural heritage and promotion of this city, which will give continuity to the various conservation activities in Patan. This book is gaining popularity with foreign visitors as well as locals, especially after making it to the popular Lonely Planet Guide Book.

Introduction to Patan Walkout

For the visitor to Patan, the tour begins where the bus stops at Patan Dhoka, the arched north gateway to the old city. Past the whitewashed gate, you enter a plaza lined with cafes, grocery stores and newspaper stalls. Beyond lie the still mostly medieval neighbourhoods of Patan.

On the far side of the square, you will see a canopied chaitya or stupa (the terms are interchangeable, although stupas are generally larger) with images of Buddha on each of its four sides. Patan has stupas and chaityas in abundance, in various shapes, sizes and antiquity. Just part the chaitya in front of you is a well which is still in use by the residents of the neighborhood.

The lane you have entered is actually the central thoroughfare of Patan, and it will take you directly to Darbar Square-the end of the Walkabout-in about 20 minutes of leisurely walking. However, you will be taking a more roundabout route to get there.

Just past the chaitya and well, at a fork in the lane, you will come upon a double-roofed temple of Ganesh. The elephant-headed deity is found at street-level and the entry is flanked by two stone lions standing guard. This is an appropriate point to begin your Patan Walkabout, for Ganesh is the deity invoked when a new venture is begun or upon setting out on a journey.

Turn your back to the temple and take the brick-paved lane at which the stone gaze of the lions is directed. Within a minute you will arrive at a small Hindu shrine placed within a cemented structure. Nest to it is a Buddhist chaitya together with a mandala (a diagrammatic representation of the universe) at table-top level. Further along, where you see a pati (a covered rest platform), the lane opens up into Sulima Square.
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