Patan is the oldest city in the Kathmandu Valley and was once the capital of an independent kingdom. Today, however, it has been largely absorbed into greater Kathmandu.
The glory days of ancient Patan, however, still survive in its Durbar Square, home to the royal palace ("durbar") and many other temples and shrines. Patan's Durbar Square strikes many as more refined than Kathmandu's or Bhaktapur's, possibly because its development was frozen by the 18th century when Patan lost its status as an independent capital. The stone Krishna Mandir (Temple) and the octagonal Chyasin Dewal (another temple dedicated to the Hindu god, Krishna) are particularly fine example of the ancient architecture.
Patan also has a proud tradition of craftsmanship and today produces much of Nepal's fine metalwork. Patan remains a vibrant part of Kathmandu and the streets are filled with people and colorful sights to see.