Bhandarkhal Water Tank: Diving into Patan's Royal Past

27, Jun 2023 |

Discover the Bhandarkhal Water Tank, a hidden oasis that stands as a testament to the ingenuity of the past and the resilience of heritage. Unveil the secrets of Patan's royal palace, explore the captivating pavilion, and marvel at the ancient water supply system

The royal residents of Patan's royal palace were provided with a lifeline by an ancient jewel that is tucked away behind the splendor of the palace. A noteworthy example of the architectural wonders of the late 17th century is the Bhandarkhal Water Tank, also known as the Bhandarkhal Garden

A Royal Water Supply

Standing 16 x 16 meters, the Bhandarkhal Water Tank features three stepped terraces designed to ensure a constant supply of potable water throughout the year. Constructed with meticulous attention to detail, the first two levels showcase stunning stonework, while the lower level boasts a brick facade. The reservoir is fed by the Lohan Hiti water spout, located on the east side of the tank. At the heart of the tank stands a captivating stone image of Ganga, the goddess of water, adorned with two Malla-period inscriptions. Flanking the niche are two majestic guardian figures, etched in stone, guarding this symbol of sustenance.


The Enchanting Bhandarkhal Pavilion

On the northern side of the water tank, a remarkable structure known as the Bhandarkhal Pavilion awaits exploration. Although lost to time between 1853 and 1950, this architectural masterpiece was meticulously reconstructed in 2010, thanks to an evocative watercolor painting by Henry Ambrose Oldfield from 1853. Resting upon an original stone base, the pavilion features an arched torana flanked by bas-reliefs depicting various deities. As you admire the pavilion's north side, you'll be captivated by the stone relief, illustrating scenes of the Eight Siddhas and offering glimpses into courtly life during its heyday.

The Flow of History

The water supply system of the Bhandarkhal Water Tank is a marvel in itself. Dating back to the 17th century, an 820-meter long pipeline, composed of interlocking terracotta pipes, was ingeniously laid beneath the streets. These pipes, buried deep beneath the surface, transported water through gravity from a source located east of the present-day Lagankhel bus station to the south. Along this route, the water also nourished the Tusha Hiti fountain in the Sundari Chowk wing of the royal palace. Although decades of neglect led to the pipeline's demise in the 1960s, a meticulous restoration project in 2009, spearheaded by the Kathmandu Valley Preservation Trust (KVPT), rejuvenated the water flow and breathed life back into this ancient conduit.


A Network of Life

The Bhandarkhal pipeline was just a small part of the grand Raj Kulo, or "Royal Channel," which once crisscrossed the Kathmandu Valley. This intricate network diverted water from the valley's periphery, channeling it into a series of neighborhood ponds known as pokhari. From there, the water flowed into numerous hitis, step wells equipped with spouts, serving the local communities. As urbanization and population growth encroached upon the valley, this once-thriving system faced challenges. However, even today, segments of the network continue to supply water to the local population, acting as a vital lifeline.

Embrace the Past and Experience the Present

Visiting the Bhandarkhal Water Tank offers more than just a glimpse into history. It provides an opportunity to witness the resilience of ancient engineering and the importance of water architecture in sustaining communities. As you stroll through the serene surroundings, envision the grandeur of the Malla dynasty and the invaluable role this reservoir played in their lives. With the restoration efforts ensuring the flow of water once more, this living testament to Nepal's glorious past invites you to explore, reflect, and appreciate the intricate connections between history and the present.


To embark on this extraordinary adventure, secure a ticketed entry into the Patan Museum, granting access to the Bhandarkhal Water Tank. Located in the heart of Patan, Nepal, the museum serves as a gateway to the rich cultural heritage of the city. Immerse yourself in the captivating exhibits before stepping into the enchanting world of the Bhandarkhal Water Tank, where history comes alive.

By: Daizy Dharewal

Photo Credits: Asian Historical Architecture

Also Read

Sundari Chowk Palace Courtyard, Patan

PIA Memorial Park: Where Nature And Tribute Converge

Explore The Enchanting Galkot Durbar

Bajura: Off-The-Beaten-Path Adventure In Nepal

Phakding Village: A Destination For Serenity And Natural Splendor

join our newsLetter

powered by : nepal traveller digital publication pvt. ltd

developed by : Web House Nepal