The Kathmandu Valley is made up of 3 major cities: Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur. It represents almost two million inhabitants and rises to 1,350 m altitude.
The first inhabitants of Kathmandu were Newars, they are the ones who built the city and are the most talented artisans in Kathmandu valley. The city of Kathmandu is a large and flat valley at 1350 meters above sea level, surrounded by mountains. It was founded in the 10th century. After Patan and Bhaktapur, it represents the royal city.
One of the original cities is Patan, whose only visible demarcation with Kathmandu is the Bagmati River. It is also called Lalitpur, which means the City of Beauty. Former royal capital, it is a city of art. Patan is particularly distinguished in the manufacture of handicrafts in metal, especially singing bowls. The singing bowls are related to the pre-Buddhist culture of the Himalayas, often called “Tibetan bowls”. The origin of these bowls dates back to the Bronze Age. Coming from Far North East, via Mongolia, they were introduced to Tibet by nomadic blacksmiths.
The city was founded in the 12th century. Until the sixteenth century, Bhaktapur dominated Nepal politically and economically. It maintained this position until the Gorkha conquest in 1769. Since that time, Bhaktapur has always been a world apart, with economic autarky but also independence. Tradition inherent in this capital is Newar pottery. In the Pain places of the city, the jars and various containers are drying and sold to the housewives of Kathmandu.
But a few kilometers west of Bakhtapur, other potters compete in quality and volume of production; the village of Timi is entirely devoted to this art. The potteries are dried by covering them with straw to which they will fire …
A few kilometers away is Bungamati. This small village located a short distance from the capital has kept an extremely bucolic character. It is a good place to find wood sculpture.