Street in front of Durbar, Pattan
Photographer: Herzog and Higgins
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph from an album of 30 prints credited to Herzog and Higgins, taken in ca. 1901 and part of the Curzon Collection. The ancient town of Patan with its strong links with Buddhism is now largely absorbed into greater Kathmandu. It is still a cultural centre and source of thriving arts and crafts in Nepal. Patan is one of the earliest towns of Nepal and legend claims that it was founded by the great Buddhist emperor Ashoka of India in the 3rd century BC. Inscriptions reveal that it was a major city of the Lichchavi dynasty (300-800 AD). Most of its monuments date from the Malla dynasty (1200-1769 AD). In the 15th century it became one of the three Malla city-states of the Kathmandu Valley, the other two being Bhaktapur and Kathmandu, and was endowed with spectacular architecture, particularly around its central Durbar Square. The photograph reveals the columned pavilions on stepped platforms and temples with many layers of roofs in the Newari style of architecture. Much of Patan’s beautiful Darbar Square was built in the reign of Sri Nivasa, 1661-84.