Founded by Pravin Chitrakar with a long-term mission to improve the quality of Nepali handicrafts, this urban artisan village includes a gallery, café, arts residency and handicrafts workshop. Visitors can hang out with a cool drink in the leafy courtyard, before browsing the knitwear, jewellery, paper products and other crafts on display.
When it comes to quality, Nepal’s very own coffee shop chain can compete with the big-name international brands – and Patan’s newest branch at Mangalbazar exceeds all expectations with its unique location and ambience. In a heritage building protected by the Department of Archaeology, the café is just around the corner from the famous Unesco-listed Patan Durbar Square and overlooks a large golden Buddha.
Spicy, lavish Newari cuisine – from the indigenous Newa people of Kathmandu Valley – is on the menu at this relaxed multi-level restaurant. Diners can opt to sit on cushions around low tables, or enjoy the views north towards the Himalayas from the rooftop.
Get one of the set meals to sample several different curries with rice. The kitchen also serves other traditional Nepalese dishes as well as a Western selection comprising sandwiches, pastas and pizzas.
As well as contemporary gold, silver and gemstone creations, you can browse a range of Tibetan-inspired jewellery and objets d’art here. The mandala pendants decorated with rubies and emeralds are particularly striking, as are the gold, silver, bronze and jade Buddha amulets encased within lockets.
This gallery, studio and art school preserves and promotes the spirituality-themed Paubha style of painting. Founded by master artist Lok Chitrakar – a member of the Pun painter caste – the studio’s display of paintings is colourful, highly detailed and represents Buddhist and Hindu gods, goddesses and their related symbols. Visit for a crash course in this traditional art form.
This boutique hotel is tucked away on a quiet lane, just steps from Patan Durbar Square. Lovingly converted by conservation architect Rohit Ranjitkar, the Newari brick building is exquisite, with intricately carved windows and door frames. Each of the 10 rooms is individually designed, and decorated with the earthy tones of natural wood and handwoven, un-dyed textiles. Service is friendly, and guests can hang out in the cobblestone courtyard.
The Photo Kathmandu festival started in 2015 as a week-long showcase of Nepali photography. Its third edition – from 12 Oct to 16 Nov this year – promises to be its biggest yet, spanning five weeks of exhibitions, workshops and other cultural programming. Artists from Nepal, Italy, Turkey and Pakistan have been selected to present their work this year.
The festival is organised by Photo Circle, a Patan-based photography platform. Founder and festival director NayanTaraGurung Kakshapati says this year’s festival will focus on gender, power, identity, patriarchy and sexuality. She says, “Photo Kathmandu encourages engagement and conversations around these very present themes.”
This article was originally published in the October 2018 issue of Silkwinds magazine