Tired of the three Durbar Squares?

Text by Bibeka Bazra

As Nepalese, we are all too familiar with the squares of Kathmandu, Bhaktapur and Patan whether it’s a visit for cultural understanding or simply hanging out with friends and family. And if you’re tired of them, this is where you need to go next.

Layaku, which translates to Durbar or palace, lies in a traditional Newar city of Thimi noted for it’s religious ethos, clay handicrafts and ancient architecture. An intricately carved door of Adarsha Secondary School leads to a wide courtyard and to the doorway of Layaku. The grandly built palace is believed to have been commissioned by the last Malla king of Bhaktapur, Ranajit Malla so as to provide a resting place for one of his queens. The temple inside hosts Goddess Taleju Bhawani and is specially worshiped on the ninth day of Dashain festival. It is also of great importance on the day of Bisket Jatra when people all around the city gather, carrying the chariots to Layaku. With so much cultural richness, Layaku is among the country’s well-preserved hidden treasures and is worth a weekend indulgence.

Indulge yourself into a historic escape to Layaku and unwind at the welcoming pati (a wooden covered platform) that surrounds the main temple for peace of mind and soul. Since the palace is situated inside the premises of a school, it is best to visit after 4pm on weekdays or on holidays.