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The Stone Lions of Bhaktapur

Stone lions with nothing to guard anymore ...
Updated: January 31st 2019 | Nepal travel guides

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About the Stone Lions

Once you reach the eastern end of Bhaktapur Durbar square past the 55 Window Palace and Siddhi Lakshmi Temple you'll see two lone stone lions. If you walk from behind to the front of the lions you might notice the remnants of a building behind them.

There was once a building here that was destroyed in the 1934 earthquake. Today only the dutiful lions remain in place.

Did you know?

Most temples in Bhaktapur have stone guardians or some kind at their entrance way. Stone lions are the most common form of guardian.

From in front of the stone lions look to your right and you'll see the remains of the white Fasidega Temple. This was an attempt at rebuilding a lost temple after the earthquake in 1934.. Many say it was better not to have tried than to build something so out of place. It was then destroyed in the 2015 earthquake. This temple will be rebuilt in 2019-2020 using photographs from pre 1934 and the original design.

What were the Lions Guarding?

Astonishingly there was little documentation of buildings around Bhaktapur prior to the 1934 earthquake. And, certainly nothing of architectural warrant. However there is solitary photograph depicting the tall three-tiered temple that once stood behind the lions (see the side bar for the photograph taken in the 1920's) known as the Hari Shankar temple. More details on this can be exclusively found in found in the book Kathmandu Valley Heritage Walks.

Today if you approach Bhaktapur Durbar Square from the east these two stone lions are what you will first encounter. With the Hari Shankar temple temple gone perhaps these graceful guardian lions have taken it upon themselves to now guard the entrance!

Entrance fee

There is no charge for visiting the Stone Lions as it is covered under Bhaktapur's main entrance fee.

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The Stone Lions of Bhaktapur

Stone Lions in Bhaktapur

The Stone Lions in Bhaktapur with nothing to guard anymore!
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Full guide:
» Guide to Patan    
Central Patan
  - Patan Durbar Square
 South Patan
  - Mahaboudha Temple
  - Uku Bahal
  - Machchhendranath temple
North Patan
  - The Golden Temple
  - Kumbeshwar Temple Complex
West Patan
  - The Kumari Living Goddess
East Patan
  - The Balkumari Temple

Make the most out of your journey:
» Get my full guidebook to Patan!


Full guide:
» Guide to Bhaktapur City
Inside Bhaktapur city:  
» Guide to Bhaktapur Durbar Square
  - Erotic Elephants Temple (Shiva Parvati)
  - Basantapur Chowk (Sculptures)
  - National Art Gallery / Museum
  - The Golden Gate (Sundhoka)
  - Taleju Temple (Mul Chowk)
  - Naga Pokhari 
55 Window Palace
  - Siddhi Lakshmi
  - Stone Lions
  - Pashupatinath Temple (Bhaktapur)
  - Vatsala Durga Temple & Taleju Bell
  - Chyasalin Mandap
Near Durbar Square
» Taumadhi Square
» Pottery Square
» Dattatreya Square
Just outside Bhaktapur
» Kailashnath Mahadev (Tallest Shiva statue)
» Nagarkot

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» Get my full guidebook to Bhaktapur!

Bardia National Park
Old Photograph of Bhaktapur Durbar Square (1920's) showing the now missing temple
Old historic photograph of Bhaktapur Durbar Square

The temple is shown as the tallest to the rear

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