Patan or Lalitpur, (“Yala” as it is known by its inhabitants, the Newars) is one of the three great cities of the Kathmandu Valley, which is the historical center and cultural heart of Nepal. The settlement began as a number of villages situated on a fertile plain above the Bagmati River, probably threaded along a trail that can still be identified as a diagonal within the modern street pattern. The literal meaning of Lalitpur is “the city of fine arts”. It is best known for its rich cultural heritage, particularly its tradition of arts and crafts.
According to mythology, Patan was created in the 6th century by King Birdeva. He was instructed by Sarveshvara, a form of Shiva, to establish a city in the form of a yantra, an auspicious symbol having nine jewels in the center, eight protective deities on the periphery, and twenty four city sections. Likewise according to an another mythology, Patan city was designed and built after the Buddhist dharma Chakra.