Temples, Bhatgaon [Bhaktapur] 4305230
Photographer: Herzog and Higgins
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph with a view of the architecture of Durbar Square in Bhaktapur (or Bhadgaon), Nepal, from an album of 30 prints credited to Herzog and Higgins, taken in ca. 1901 and part of the Curzon Collection. At the extreme left foreground, the Golden Gate entrance to the Taleju Temple can be just glimpsed. Beyond is the massive edifice of the eastern wing of the Royal Palace, called the Panchapanna Jhyale Durbar or Palace of Fifty Five Windows. In the foreground at right is the Taleju Bell, serving to call the faithful to prayer, and in the middle of the background is the Chyasilin Mandapa or octagonal pavilion, used for lodging and assembly. Behind the tiny shrine in the middle is the conical tower of the Siddhilakshmi Temple. Taleju is the family goddess of the Malla rulers who built most of the grand structures of Bhaktapur. The beautiful and finely wrought Golden Gate consecrated to her dates from the mid-17th century. The town was once one of three independent Malla kingdoms of the Kathmandu Valley, along with Patan and Kathmandu, each vying for cultural supremacy and with Durbar Squares richly decorated with fine buildings and monuments. The Chyasilin Mandapa was destroyed in a devastating earthquake which damaged Bhaktapur in 1934, and has since been rebuilt by German architects in 1990.