The Malla Dynasty was a ruling dynasty of Nepal from the 12th to the 18th century. It was during their reign that the people living in and around the Kathmandu Valley began to be called Newars (or Nepa:mi in Nepal Bhasa, meaning citizens of Nepal). The Mallas were the ruling clan of the Malla Mahajanapada. They have claimed Kshatriya status themselves. 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 Newar 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 Newars. Historically more isolated than the other two kingdoms, Kathmandu and Patan, Bhaktapur has a distinctly different form of the Nepal Bhasa language. Bhaktapur Durbar Square is the plaza in front of the royal palace of the old Bhaktapur Kingdom, 1400m above sea level. It is one of three Durbar Squares in the Kathmandu Valley in Nepal, all of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

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Stock Photo: Statue image King Ranjit Malla in Bhaktapur Durbar Square

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