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  Patan By: Binod Kafle MA, culture

Since the ancient period Patan has been playing a vital role to the history of ancient Nepal of Kathmandu valley. This city had been a capital city for many states of valley. By this reason the name of this city was different according to the ruling place. For example; Yal, Yupagram, Ashoka Pattan, Manju Pattan, Lalit Pattan, Lalitpur, Mani Mandal, Patan etc.

In the third century B.C. Patan city was established by Kirats. This city was ruled by Lichchavi in sixth century AD and after that broadening by Mallas. In the ancient period, Kathmandu was a big lake, named Kalidaha. According to the ancient legend Manjusree was the first person to establish human society in the city after cutting the dam from the four places that this city was known as Manju Pattan at first. After the years of Mahaparinirman of Gautam Buddha, Charumati the daughter of the king Ashoka established four Chaitya in this city. After establishing many Chaitya by Princess Charumati, this city was named Manju Pattan, and after that Ashoka Pattan. This is very rich in designing art and craft. By this reason this city has been decorated by countless Temple, Chaitya, Shivalaya, Bihar, Pati Pauwa, Stone spout etc. after that this city took its name Lalit Pattan or the city of fine art.

According to another saying about Patan, once upon a time, many people were died because of great starvation. To solve this problem King Narendra Deva and Bandhu Datta's advice Rato Machchindranath was taken to Nepal Kamarukamaksha of present Assam state, India, who is a rain God. The people of Patan worship to Rato Machchindranath as adorned God. In the course of bringing this God, three representatives of the three states of valley were departure. The representative of Patan was an old farmer Lalit. He became able to bring Machchindranath to Nepal, carrying on his shoulder without any rest on the way. By his effort Machchindranath was established in this city so that this city also becomes Lalitpur.

From the ancient period adopting owns culture, social tradition norms and values Lalitpur has played a vital role to presence the art and culture of Nepal. This city has played a great role in the realm of architecture. By this reason this city has been a city of mysterious and attraction to the tourists, archaeologist and historians. The people of this city have been able to presence art and culture from the beginning period by architecture, wood and stone carving. As a taken of poof our ancestors have left many artistic Temples, Chaityas, Chapa, Pati, Bihar, Agan, Stone Spout to uses monuments which are scattered every where in this city. Among the ancient Buddha Bihar situated in Nepal, more than two hundred and sixty five big and small Bihar are located in Patan. By this reason, this city is also known as school of Buddhism.

Patan Durbar square is a great example of ancient architecture. So that, this side is included in world heritage site by UNESCO. There are many archaeological site in the Patan area, Archaeological garden, Guita Tole, Patuk Mound (Kirate Palace) are already excavated. As a world heritage, the people of this city are preserving ancient tradition and culture. The people of Patan take as a part of life to traditional culture and life style. Every year, they are celebrating continuously much festival from thousand years very cheerfully including the festival and poojas celebrating different toles many festivals are also celebrated to the whole year. For example: Buddha Jayanti (celebrating from hundred years on Baishakah Sukla Purnima), Rato Mechchindranath Rath Jatra, Mataya, Bhimsen Jatra, Krishna Janmastami, Kumbhesor Mela, Gai Jatra, Ghode Jatra, Kartik Nach, Ga Pyakha, Narashima Jatra, Punchali Bhuja Jatra, Ganesh Chauthi (Chatha), Yomari Puhni, Ilhanhe Samyak, Gunla, Holi, Mother's Day, Father's Day, Mohani, Swanti, Naag Panchami, Pancha Dan etc.

Everyday there occurs the program of religious dinging. In this ancient city many kinds of traditional musical instruments used to play which are still on use. The main instruments were: Dheeme Baja, Rikali, Nayakhee, Neku, Kabaju, Kochakhi, Nagara, Jor Nagara, Pataya Khee, Dholak, Damaru, Jhayali, kanta Dabadab etc. similarly many religious festival and celebrations are being celebrated in this city from the ancient period.

Patan is not only the religious city of Nepal. The people of Patan able to preserve traditions such as festival, music and dance, singing religious song, playing musical instrument and rituals etc. By this reality in this computer age also the people of developed society cannot forget this city after arriving once. So, the people of Patan are proud in the realm of preserving tradition.

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