Bhaktapur literally translates to Place of devotees. It is redeemed as the 'cultural gem'. Also known as Bhadgaon or Khwopa it is an ancient Newar city in the east corner of the Kathmandu Valley, Nepal, about eight miles from the capital city, Kathmandu. It is located in Bhaktapur District in the Bagmati Zone.

Bhaktapur was the largest of the three Newa kingdoms of the Kathmandu Valley, and was the capital of Nepal during the great "Malla "Kingdom until the second half of the 15th century. Today it is the third largest city in the Kathmandu Valley, with a population of more than 300,000, of which the vast majority are still "Newa"s. Historically more isolated than the other two kingdoms, Kathmandu and Patan, Bhaktapur has a distinctly different form of the Nepal Bhasa(language) .

Bhaktapur has the best preserved Palace courtyards and old city center in Nepal, and is listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO for its rich culture, temples, and wood, metal and stone artworks. This is supported by the restoration and preservation efforts of German-funded Bhaktapur Development Project (BDP).

The city is famous for special type of curd called "Ju Ju(king) dhau(curd). It is experienced by the curd makers that the taste of curd prepared in this location cannot be found elsewhere all over Nepal.

Etymology

KHWOPA is the ancient name of Bhaktapur. The term "Bhaktapur" (Sanskrit/Nepali: भक्तपुर) refers to "The City Of Devotees". This Bhaktapur City is also known as "Khwopa" (Nepal Bhasa: ख्वप) or "Bhadgaon" (Nepali:भादगाँउ) or "Ancient Newari Town" throughout the Kathmandu Valley. "Kh0apa" actually refers to the masks which are believed to have been worn by gods and goddesses. Bhaktapur is popular for different forms of mask dances based on lives of different deities and therefore, it was named "Khwapa" which later came to become just "Khwopa," which is also near to meaning masks.

History

It is the home of traditional art and architecture, historical monuments and craft works, magnificent windows, pottery and weaving industries, excellent temples, beautiful ponds, rich local customs, culture, religion, festivals, musical mystic and so on. Bhaktapur is still an untouched as well as preserved ancient city that is itself a world to explore for tourists.

From time immemorial it lay on the trade route between Tibet and India. This position on the main caravan route made the town rich and prosperous.

Demographics

At the time of the 2001 Nepal census it had a population of 72,543. The male inhabitants of this city wear a special type of cap called the Bhadgaunle Topi