The ancient name of Patan is Lalitpur meaning, city of beauty. It is indeed a city of beauty and grace and is planned on a circular format with Buddhist stupas at each of the four point of the compass. Patan is probably one of the oldest Buddhists
City of the world. It is believed that the city was founded in the 3rd century A.D
The city is 3 kilometers south-east of Kathmandu across the river Bagmati.This city is known for its finest traditional crafts and rich artistic heritage. Patan is designed and built after Buddhist Dharma Chakra. It is surrounded by 4Stupas as 4 corners of Patan, one at each corner of its cardinal points. These stupas are said to have been built by the famous Emperor Ashoka in the 3rd century BC. It is also said that the ancient city got its name Lalitpattan after the Lalitadhara forest was cleared by king Biradava. It must be remembered that the name of Patan used by Newars in Yala. It is said that King Yalamber named this city after himself. Before Malla Dynasty ascended the throne in 1480 the Muslim Emperor Sam Suddin Iliyas destroyed the temples and monuments of Patan. When King Siddhi Nar Singh Malla ascended the throne in 1618, he started to rebuild the city and Shrinivas and Yog Narendra Malla made further contributions to it.
Like Kathmandu, its centre of attraction, its Durbar Square complex, situated right in the middle of the market place. The city is full of Buddhist monuments and Hindu temples with fine bronze gateways, guardian deities and wonderful carvings. Noted for its craftsmen and metal workers, it is also known as the city of artists. These days one can see the beautiful palace complex and squares built during the Malla period.