Lalitpur, Nepal

Coordinates: 27°40′N 85°19′E / 27.667°N 85.317°E / 27.667; 85.317
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Lalitpur Metropolitan City
Manigal, Patan, Yala
ललितपुर महानगरपालिका
Bird's eye view of the Patan Durbar Square. It has been listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Lalitpur Skyline with Jugal Himal in background
Bird's eye view of the Patan Durbar Square. It has been listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.
Lalitpur Skyline with Jugal Himal in background
Official seal of Lalitpur Metropolitan City
City of Fine Arts[1]
Lalitpur Metropolitan City is located in Bagmati Province
Lalitpur Metropolitan City
Lalitpur Metropolitan City
Location in Nepal
Lalitpur Metropolitan City is located in Nepal
Lalitpur Metropolitan City
Lalitpur Metropolitan City
Lalitpur Metropolitan City (Nepal)
Lalitpur Metropolitan City is located in Kathmandu Valley
Lalitpur Metropolitan City
Lalitpur Metropolitan City
Lalitpur Metropolitan City (Kathmandu Valley)
Coordinates: 27°40′N 85°19′E / 27.667°N 85.317°E / 27.667; 85.317
 • MayorChiri Babu Maharjan (NC)
 • Deputy MayorManjali Shakya Bajracharya ([CPN-UML])
 • Executive officer[3]Ganesh Aryal
 • Total37.4 km2 (14.4 sq mi)
 • Total299,283[2]
 • Rank4th
 • Density8,002/km2 (20,730/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+5:45 (NST)
Postal Code
Area code01

Lalitpur Metropolitan City (Sanskrit: पाटन Pāṭana, Nepal bhasa : 𑐫𑐮Yela, ) is a metropolitan city and fourth most populous city of Nepal with 299,843 inhabitants living in 49,044 households per the 2021 census.[4][5] It is located in the south-central part of Kathmandu Valley, a large valley in the high plateaus in central Nepal, at an altitude of 1,400 metres (4,600 feet).

Lalitpur is also known as Manigal. It is best known for its rich cultural heritage, particularly its tradition of arts and crafts. It has a multi-ethnic population with a Hindu and Buddhist majority. Religious and cultural festivities form a major part of the lives of people residing in Kathmandu. Tourism is an important part of the city's economy and it is renowned for its festivals and feasts, ancient art, and the making of metallic, wood and stone statues. Lalitpur is also home to Patan Durbar Square, which has been listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.

Etymology and culture[edit]

One of the most used and typical Newar names of Lalitpur is Yela. It is said that King Yalamber or Yellung Hang named this city after himself, and ever since this ancient city was known as Yala. There are many legends about its name. The most popular one is the legend of the god Rato Machhindranath (also known as Bunga Dyah), who was brought to the valley from Kamaru Kamachhya, located in Assam, India, by a group of three people representing the three kingdoms centered in the Kathmandu Valley. One of them was called Lalit, a farmer who carried god Rato Machhindranath to the valley all the way from Assam, India. The purpose of bringing the god Rato Machhindranath to the valley was to overcome the worst drought there. There was a strong belief that the god Rato Machhindranath would bring rain in the valley. It was due to Lalit's effort that the god Rato Machhindranath was settled in Lalitpur. Many believe that the name of the town is kept after his name Lalit and pur meaning township.

In May, a chariot festival honoring the deity known as Bunga Dyah Jatra is held in Patan. It is the longest and one of the most important religious celebrations in Patan. During the month-long festival, an idol of Rato Machhendanath is placed on a tall chariot and pulled through the city streets in stages.


Ancient history[edit]

Lalitpur is believed to have been founded in the third century BC by the Kirat dynasty and later expanded by Licchavis in the sixth century. It was further expanded by the Mallas during the medieval period.

Lalitpur is said to have been founded by King Veer Deva in 299 AD, but there is unanimity among scholars that Patan was a well established and developed town since ancient times. Several historical records including many other legends indicate that Patan is the oldest of all the cities of Kathmandu Valley. According to a very old Kirat chronicle, Patan was founded by Kirat rulers long before the Licchavi rulers came into the political scene in Kathmandu Valley. According to that chronicle, the earliest known capital of Kirat rulers was Thankot. Kathmandu, the present capital was most possibly removed from Thankot to Patan after the Kirati King Yalamber came into power sometimes around second century AD.

Malla era[edit]

The Licchavi era was followed by the Malla era. Rulers from Tirhut, upon being attacked by the Delhi Sultanate, fled north to the Kathmandu valley. They intermarried with Nepali royalty, and this led to the Malla era. The early years of the Malla era were turbulent, with raids and attacks from Khas and Turk Muslims. There was also a devastating earthquake which claimed the lives of a third of Kathmandu's population, including the king Abhaya Malla. These disasters led to the destruction of most of the architecture of the Licchavi era (such as Mangriha and Kailashkut Bhawan), and the loss of literature collected in various monasteries within the city. Despite the initial hardships, Kathmandu rose to prominence again and, during most of the Malla era, dominated the trade between India and Tibet. Nepali currency became the standard currency in trans-Himalayan trade.

During the later part of the Malla era, Kathmandu Valley comprised four fortified cities: Kantipur, Lalitpur, Bhaktapur, and Kirtipur. These served as the capitals of the Malla confederation of Nepal. These states competed with each other in the arts, architecture, esthetics, and trade, resulting in tremendous development. The kings of this period directly influenced or involved themselves in the construction of public buildings, squares, and temples, as well as the development of waterspouts, the institutionalisation of trusts (called guthis), the codification of laws, the writing of dramas, and the performance of plays in city squares. Evidence of an influx of ideas from India, Tibet, China, Persia, and Europe among other places can be found in a stone inscription from the time of king Pratap Malla. Books have been found from this era that describe their tantric tradition (e.g. Tantrakhyan), medicine (e.g. Haramekhala), religion (e.g. Mooldevshashidev), law, morals, and history. Amarkosh, a Sanskrit-Nepal Bhasa dictionary from 1381 AD, was also found. Architecturally notable buildings from this era include Kathmandu Durbar Square, Patan Durbar Square, Bhaktapur Durbar Square, the former durbar of Kirtipur, Nyatapola, Kumbheshwar, the Krishna temple, and others.

Modern era[edit]

In 1768, Lalitpur was annexed to the Gorkha Kingdom by Prithvi Narayan Shah without any battle.


Lalitpur is on the elevated tract of land in Kathmandu Valley on the south side of the Bagmati River, which separates it from the city of Kathmandu on the northern and western side. The Karmanasa Khola acts as the boundary on the eastern side. It was developed on relatively thin layers of deposited clay and gravel in the central part of a dried ancient lake known as the Nagdaha. The city has an area of 15.43 square kilometres and is divided into 29 municipal wards.[6]

Panoramic view of the Kathmandu valley from Swayambhu


Climate is characterized by relatively high temperatures and evenly distributed precipitation throughout the year. The Köppen Climate Classification subtype for this climate is "Cfa" (Humid Subtropical Climate).[7]

Historical monuments[edit]

Patan Durbar Square
Evening shot of Big Bell at Patan Durbar Square

The city was initially designed in the shape of the Buddhist Dharma-Chakra (Wheel of Righteousness). The four thurs or mounds on the perimeter of Patan are ascribed around, one at each corner of its cardinal points, which are popularly known as Asoka Stupas. Legend has it that Emperor Asoka (the legendary King of India) visited with his daughter Charumati to Kathmandu in 250 BC and erected five Asoka Stupas, four in the surrounding and one at the middle of the Patan. The size and shape of these stupas seem to breathe their antiquity in a real sense. There are more than 1,200 Buddhist monuments of various shapes and sizes scattered in and around the city.

The most important monument of the city is Patan Durbar Square, which has been listed by UNESCO as one of seven Monument Zones that make up the Kathmandu Valley World Heritage Site. The seven monument zones were included in the World Heritage List in 1979 as one integrated site. The monument zones are declared as protected and preserved according to the Monuments Preservation Act of 1956. The Square was heavily damaged on 25 April 2015 by an earthquake.[8]

Lalitpur was planned in Vihars and Bahils. Out of 295 Vihars and Bahils of the valley 56% of them are in Patan. The water conduits, stone spouts, jaladroni (water tanks), artistic gate ways, Hindu temples and Buddhist Vihars adorn the city.[citation needed]



  Nepali (44.9%)
  Nepal Bhasa (35.2%)
  Tamang (6.2%)
  Maithili (3.4%)
  Magar (1.7%)
  Bhojpuri (1.4%)
  Others (7.2%)

As of the 2011 census, Nepali is the most common mother tongue in Lalitpur with 44.9% of the population speaking it as their mother tongue. Newar is spoken by 35.2% while the other languages spoken in the city include Tamang (6.2%), Maithili (3.4%), Magar (1.7%), Bhojpuri (1.4%) and Rai (1.3%) as their first language. English is also spoken by many, especially as a non-primary language.[9][10]

Ethnic groups[edit]

Ethnic groups in Lalitpur

  Newar (36.9%)
  Chhetri (15.9%)
  Hill Brahman (11.9%)
  Tamang (8.3%)
  Magar (5.4%)
  Madhesi (3.5%)
  Others (18.1%)

The largest group is the native Newars, whose various sub-groups combine to make up 39.6% of the population. The second largest ethnic group is Chhetri, who account for 15.9% of the population while Bahuns also known as Hill-Brahmin or Khas Brahmin, represent 11.9% of the population. Other groups in Kathmandu include the Janajatis, comprising the Tamang (8.3%), Magar (3.5%), Rai (3.5%) and Gurung (1.5%). Nepalese Muslims represent 0.7% of the population.[11] More recently, other Madeshi groups from Terai have come to represent a substantial proportion of the city's population.[12]


Religious groups in Lalitpur

  Hinduism (72.3%)
  Buddhism (19.2%)
  Christianity (5.7%)
  Kirat (1.7%)
  Islam (0.8%)
  Animism (0.1%)
  Others (0.2%)

In terms of religion, 72.3% were Hindu, 19.2% Buddhist, 5.7% Christian, 1.7% Kirati, 0.8% Muslim, 0.1% Prakriti and 0.2% others.[13]

In terms of literacy, 86.0% could read and write, 1.6% could only read and 12.4% could neither read nor write.[14]


A substantial portion of the population is engaged in trades, notably in traditional handicrafts and small-scale cottage industries, and some residents work in agriculture. Lalitpur has produced the highest number of renowned artists and finest craftsmen ever recorded in the history of Nepali art. Lalitpur has maintained a culture of craftwork even in the face of rapid urbanization and many social and political upheavals.

The city is less urbanized than Kathmandu, north of the Bagmati river, but is home to many workshops, stores, restaurants, hotels, schools, embassies and other important sectors of the Kathmandu Valley economy. Buddha Air has its headquarters in Jawalakhel[15] near Patan.[16]


Postsecondary education[edit]

Lalitpur is home to Pulchowk Engineering Campus, one of the oldest and most reputed colleges affiliated with the Institute of Engineering, Tribhuvan University. Patan Academy of Health Sciences is the only medical university in the city with Patan Hospital as its primary teaching hospital, and there is another private medical school - KIST Medical College in Lalitpur.[17] Other institutions of higher learning in Patan include Patan Multiple Campus, Virinchi College[18] and Kathmandu University School of Management (KU SOM).

Primary and secondary education[edit]

Nepal Don Bosco School, Siddhipur, Lalitpur

Lalitpur is home to few best schools and colleges of Nepal are located in Lalitpur. Every year thousands of students from all over Nepal arrive at Kathmandu to get admission in the various schools and colleges. Among all, the largest and reputed schools are Ideal Model School, Ullens School, Rato Bangla School, Premier International IB World School, British School, St. Xavier's School, Nepal Don Bosco School, Little Angels' School and Gyanodaya Bal Batika School.

Other schools include the Hindu Vidya Peeth Nepal, St. Mary's, Graded English Medium School, DAV Sushil Kedia, Adarsha Kanya Niketan, Tri-padma Vidyashram, Adarsha Saral Madhyamik Vidyalaya, Sudesha High School, and Nava Suryodaya English Secondary School.


Nepal National Library which was established in 1957 AD was moved to Lalitpur from Singha Durbar in 2061 BS. It is at Harihar Bhawan.[19] Madan Puraskar Pustakalaya, located near Patan Dhoka, is another library, which awards the Madan Puraskar and Jagadamba Shree Puraskar literary prizes is in the city. There are also numbers of libraries around Lalitpur Metropolitan city such as Deepawali Pustakalaya in Satdobato, Buddhibikash Library in Lagankhel, and Sanu Ko Pustakalaya in Manbhawan.


Temples of Patan Durbar Square

Lalitpur is renowned as a very artistic city. Most of the Nepalese art is devoted to gods, and there is an abundance of temples and viharas. Notable landmarks include:[20]

  • Patan Durbar Square: The palace square and residence of the Malla rulers of Patan state which now houses a museum.
  • Patan Dhoka: One of the historical entrances to the old city. It was recently painted with the symbols of Asta-matrikas led by the veteran artist Lok Chitrakar.
  • Hiranya Varna Mahavihar: A Buddhist temple known locally as Golden Temple.
  • Mahabouddha Temple: Also known as 1000 Buddha Temple modeled liked the Mahabodhi temple in Bodh Gaya.
  • Kumbheshwar Temple: A Shiva temple with two ponds whose water is believed to come from Gosaikunda.
  • Banglamukhi Temple: A temple which is one of the ten mahavidyas (great wisdom goddesses) in Hinduism.
  • Ratnakar Mahavihar: Also known as Ha Baha, the viahara complex is the official residence of the Kumari of Patan.
  • Krishna Mandir: One of the stone temples of Nepal built by King Siddhinarsingh Malla in the 16th century.
  • Central Zoo: Central Zoo was established in 1932 by Rana Prime Minister Juddha Shumsher Jang Bahadur Rana as a private zoo, it is the only zoo in entire Nepal.
  • Pimbahal Pokhari: This large pond is a hidden gem centred around a charming lakeshore pavilion. On the north side is three-tiered Chandeswari Temple built in 1663. Walk around the pond clockwise and you'll pass a 600-year-old whitewashed stupa that was damaged by Muslim invaders in 1357.



All international and domestic flights for Kathmandu Valley are handled by Tribhuvan International Airport which lies about 7 km from Patan City Centre.


Walking is the easiest method of transportation within the city as the core is densely populated. In terms of motor transport, Kathmandu Ring Road which encircles the central part of the valley is a strategic road in the city. Connection to Kathmandu over the Bagmati River is provided by a host of road and pedestrian bridges. The most trafficked and important bridge connecting to the centre of Kathmandu is Thapathali Bridge. Since pedestrians and vehicles often have to share the same road, traffic congestion is a major problem in Patan. Efforts are being made to widen roads to make them more suitable to vehicular traffic.[21]

Public transportation[edit]

Private companies operate a number of routes connecting Patan with other places in the valley. Buses, micro-buses and electric tempos are the most common forms of public transport seen in the city. Lalitpur Yatayat buses connects the touristic Thamel area of Kathmandu with buses stopping at Patan Dhoka, a five-minute walk to Patan Durbar Square. Lagankhel Bus Park is the central transport hub. Sajha Yatayat is another major public vehicle service that connects Lalitpur with its neighboring districts. It also operates electric buses.



Patan Hospital is a renowned government hospital in Lalitpur which is also the teaching hospital for the Patan Academy of Health Sciences. Patan Mental Hospital is located opposite Patan Hospital in Lagankhel, which is focused on mental illness patients. Nepal Mediciti Hospital, Bhaisepati and B&B Hospital, Gwarko are some renowned private hospitals in Lalitpur. Sumeru Hospital as kidney hospital located at Dhapakhel.


Patan has several local FM radio stations present.

Radio stations operated out of Lalitpur
S.N Radio Name MHz Operated by
1 Radio Sagarmatha 102.4 Nepal Forum of Environmental Journalist
2 Radio Kantipur FM 96.1 Kantipur FM Pvt. Ltd.
3 BBC Radio 103.0 BBC World Service
4 Ujyaalo FM 90.0 Communication Corner Pvt. Ltd.
5 Times FM 90.6 Valley FM Pvt. Ltd.

Sport, Fitness & Wellness[edit]

Club Sport Founded League
Three Star Club Football 1974 Martyr's Memorial A-Division League
Friends Club 1972
Jawalakhel Youth Club
Chyasal Youth Club 1981
Lalitpur Patriots Cricket 2017 Everest Premier League

Nepal Squash Rackets Association (NSRA)(Satdobato, International Swimming Complex (Satdobato), All Nepal Football Association (ANFA) (Satdobato), Nepal Taekwondo Association (Satdobato, Satdobato Youth Club (Satdobato, Khumaltar Youth Club, Tennis Complex (Satdobato), Army Physical Training Centre (Lagankhel), National Sports Centre (Chyasal), Satdobato Yog Sadhana Kendra (Satdobato), Bhelpa Bhairav Yog Sadhana Kendra (Satdobato), Nakipot Yog Sadana Kendra (Nakhipot), Dholahiti Yog Sadhana Kendra (Dholahiti) Bhalu Bhairav Gym (Satdobato)


The native language of Patan is Nepal Bhasa of Newars. Though due to the migration of other people from other places to Patan, other languages like Nepali, Tamang, etc. are also spoken.



  1. ^ "संक्षिप्त परिचय". Lalitpur Metropolitan City. Retrieved 29 May 2022.
  2. ^ "Lalitpur Metropolitan City | Government of Nepal". Archived from the original on 2 September 2017. Retrieved 22 February 2022.
  3. ^ "Staff profile".
  4. ^ "National Population and Housing Census". Government of Nepal. 2011. p. 41. Archived from the original on 13 September 2018. Retrieved 20 September 2013.
  5. ^ "Final Preliminary Report of Census 2021 Newfin" (PDF). Retrieved 4 June 2023.
  6. ^ "Welcome to Official Site of Lalitpur Sub-Metropolital City Office, Nepal ::". Archived from the original on 24 July 2011. Retrieved 22 May 2011.
  7. ^ "Climate Summary for Patan, Nepal". Archived from the original on 1 November 2013. Retrieved 31 July 2013.
  8. ^ "Earthquake in Nepal: Patan Durbar Square shattered completely"., online. Archived from the original on 13 October 2015. Retrieved 25 April 2015.
  9. ^ "Grid View: Table LANGUAGE – NepalMap". Archived from the original on 9 March 2021. Retrieved 27 February 2021.
  10. ^ "NepalMap Language". Retrieved 4 June 2023.
  11. ^ "Kathmandu Population 2021 (Demographics, Maps, Graphs)". Archived from the original on 24 September 2020. Retrieved 7 September 2020.
  12. ^ NepalMap Caste [1]
  13. ^ NepalMap Religion [2]
  14. ^ NepalMap Literacy [3]
  15. ^ "Domestic/International Archived 2012-04-02 at the Wayback Machine." Buddha Air. Retrieved on 26 September 2011. "The company headquarters is located at Jawalakhel, Lalitpur"
  16. ^ "Contact Information Archived 2011-09-25 at the Wayback Machine." Buddha Air. Retrieved on 25 September 2011. "Buddha Air Pvt. Ltd Pulchowk Rd Patan"
  17. ^ "About PAHS". Patan Academy of Health Sciences. Archived from the original on 22 June 2012. Retrieved 29 June 2012.
  18. ^ "About Virinchi College". Virinchi College. Archived from the original on 8 December 2023. Retrieved 12 March 2024.
  19. ^ "NNL: About Us". Nepal National Library. Archived from the original on 20 May 2012. Retrieved 30 June 2012.
  20. ^ "Historical Monuments". Lalitpur Sub-Metropolitan City. Archived from the original on 29 June 2012. Retrieved 29 June 2012.
  21. ^ "After Kathmandu, Lalitpur road expansion starts". Katipur Media. Archived from the original on 25 February 2012. Retrieved 1 July 2012.

External links[edit]