According to Nepalese chronicles, 'Patan' was founded by King Varadeva in 299 CE. Some scholars believe that it was the capital of the Licchavi, Thakuri, and Malla dynasties.
The city is known for its craftsmen, particularly metalworkers and wood-carvers. There are fine Buddhist temples, including the Temple of Machendranath in Durbar Square. The town contains a number of viharas, originally Buddhist monasteries but now inhabited by descendants of the priests who once occupied them.
It is also believed, the Mauryan emperor Ashoka visited the town about 250 BCE and built the four large stupas (Buddhist temples and burial mounds) that still exist on the four sides of the town.