Just a few steps further along from the building containing the corner window, the lane opens up into a large and well maintained square with a paved road running down its length. You are in Swotha Square.

The largest structure here, far to your right as you enter, is a three-tiered pagoda temple dedicated to Radha-Krishna, recently restored with the assistance of the Kathmandu Valley Preservation Trust. Next to it is a well whose water was used to fill the roadside cistern that is still there for the benefit of pedestrians.

Patan is full of such functioning wells ()known as tun, or inar) many of them dating back to the Malla period, with well worm stone slabs on the rim and maidenhair ferns spilling out of the crannies. For centuries, and even in the driest of months, such wells never failed to provide water for the people of Patan. The deep foundations of ever-taller modern buildings, however are beinning to affect underground springs which feed the inars and hitis.

The other main temple of the square is the Krishna Mandir, on the same side of the road as the Radha-Krishna temple. The bottom portion is done in stone but the overall structure looks strange and out of proportion. This is because the pointed top of this shikhara-style temple collapsed during the earthquake of 1934, and the renovation was less than complete. The mandir was given an onion-shaped plaster top.

There are many other sites in the Valley towns such as this, where the grand pedestals are topped by stubby stucco boxes or domes (there is another one in Darbar Square). Some have suggested that Patan’s conservation drive will have reached its high point when the residents reclaim the monuments destroyed in 1934, giving them back their historical shape and dignity.

While the Krishan temple could indeed do with a facelift, visitors will notice nevertheless that, unlike some other parts of Patan, Swotha square appears neatly kept up, with temples in good repair, the garbage collected, and the drains and brickwork undamaged. This is thanks to the joint effort of teh Patan municipal authority and Urban Development through Local efforts (UDLE),a German-assisted project that provides technical assistance and encourages communities to take charge of their heritage.

Across the street from the Krishna temple is a two-tiered mandir of Narayana, with a large, impressive stone of Garuda (see picture), the gods winged mount, in supplication. Just a few feet downhill from Garud, on the pavement, you will notice a space made for rocks sticking out of the ground. Theses are some more additions to the already wide variety of deities available for the Patan’s residence to revere. Most such pavement level shrines are dedicated to Bhairab, the fearsome form of Shiva.

The road heading downhill(north) from Swotha ends at the ghats of Sankhamul, by a bend in the Bagmati River. This i where Patan’s dead have traditionally been cremated. Darbar Square, where this Patan Walkabout ends, is in other direction. Leave Swotha keeping the three-roofed Radha-Krishna pagoda to your right and a curio shop in an old residence to your left, and head up the incline along the main road.

In the few minutes, you arrive at the open space of Darbar Square. The first temple that you come upon on your right is a three tiered temple of Bhimsen, much larger than the other temples you have encountered thus far. Adjacent to the Bhimsen temple is a black-topped road which heads off to your right(west). This \ is the main road to follow when you are ready to head back to Patan Dhoka, where you started this Walkabout.

Go past the Bhimsen temple. On the left you will come to two airy pavilions which stand by the steps going down to a hiti again larger than the other you have seen. Past the pavilions, you enter a wide brick paved pedestrian-only zone and Darbar Square proper.

You can easily spend a couple of hours talking in the spiritual flavour and architectural grandeur of this precinct, or even more time if you choose to visit the newly opened patan Museum ( "the museum behind the golden gate" ). The well- preserved facade along the patan Darbar (palace), whereas the rest of the large space consists of shikhara temples, pagodas, a huge city bell, statues on pedestals, and lanes branching off to all corners of patan.
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