Royal Palace

Forming the whole eastern side of Durbar Sq, the Royal Palace of Patan was originally built in the 14th century, but was expanded massively during the 17th and 18th centuries by Siddhinarsingh Malla, Srinivasa Malla and Vishnu Malla. The Patan palace predates the palaces in Kathmandu and Bhaktapur and it was severely damaged during the conquest of the valley by Prithvi Narayan Shah in 1768.More restoration was done after the great earthquake of 1934, but the palace remains one of the architectural highlights of Nepal.

Behind the extravagant facade, with its overhanging eaves, carved windows and delicate wooden screens, are a series of connecting courtyards and three temples dedicated to the valley’s main deity, the goddess Taleju. The Bhairab gateway leading to the central courtyard – known as Mul Chowk – is flanked by two stone lions and colourful murals of Shiva in his wrathful incarnation as Bhairab. Strings of buffalo guts are hung above the door in his honour.

The northern courtyard is reached through the Golden Gate (Sun Dhoka). Installed in 1734, this finely engraved and gilded gateway is topped by a golden torana (pediment) showing Shiva, Parvati, Ganesh and Kumar (an incarnation of Skanda, the god of war). Directly above the gateway is a window made from gold foil wrapped around a timber frame, where the king once made public appearances. The gateway now forms the entrance to the Patan Museum.

(source: Lonely Planet)