One of the oldest towns in Nepal, Panauti offers a poignant look at the passage of time. From the crowded bus stand in the sprawling concrete mess of the new town, you slip down a brick street into the Old Bazaar, the remains of an ordered and prosperous medieval city that would have been a wonder to behold in its heyday. Located at the sacred confluence of the Roshi Khola and Pungamati Khola, it is dotted with ancient temples.
Panauti was also once a trading capital, as revealed by several Rana-era mansions restored by the French government. Squint at the merchants lining the street and you can cast your mind back hundreds of years. But when you open your eyes amid today’s widespread decay, you’ll undoubtedly feel a twinge of melancholy, for while there are some interesting sights in this Newari town, it was clearly much better off centuries ago.
We will take leisurely walk to the thriving Newari village of Panauti. Panauti is wedged between the Punyamata and Roshi streams. Panauti forms the shape of a triangle with a serpent (naga) idol standing at each of its three corners to protect from floods. Pride of this place goes to the massive, three-tiered Indreshwor Mahadev. Some authorities believe this to be the original structure that was raised here in 1294 AD, which would make it the oldest surviving structure in Nepal. The shrine area at the sacred confluence called the Khware’, is one of those tranquil spots that can intercept a dreamer for hours. On the way one can have an opportunity to come across lovely temples and interesting old houses, particularly beautiful areas, some fourteenth century wooden temple struts.