The Museum Dedicated to Religious Artifacts
Situated in the heart of the city of Lalitpur is the Patan Durbar Square Museum. It is the former palace used by the Malla kings of Lalitpur or Patan. The palace was renovated to use as a museum by the joint venture of Nepal Government and Austrian Government and the work was directed by the architect Gotz Haguller. The museum was inaugurated in 1977 by the late king Birendra Bir Bikram Shah and is famous for exhibiting arts and craft with high religious and cultural values.
The museum surrounding the Keshav Narayan Chowk, that dates back to the Lichhavi dynasty, houses a wonderful collection of bronze and gilt copper religious art works. The statues hold high religious values and cultural values as most of them are the sculptures of the Hindu and Buddhists deities. Most of the statues were created in Patan itself while some were imported from India, Tibet and the western Himalayas. The written commentaries by Mary Slusser accompany them in an attempt to explain their spiritual and art historical significance as a part of Nepali cultural heritage. The museum is a must visit for the art and craft lovers, especially the ancient Asian religious art enthusiasts.
The museum also houses the Patan Museum Café at the Keshav Narayan Chowk whose exterior compliments the architecture of the museum. The café offers a variety of traditional as well as western delicacies and light meals. The café area can also be booked for special evening events like musical programs, receptions, banquets, theatre, etc. The museum also has a gift shop that offers unique handicrafts that can be taken as a souvenir. The museum opens at 10:30 and closes at 4:30 everyday except on Tuesdays.