Kathmandu Durbar Square
Kathmandu Durbar Square is one of the important historic and tourist destinations in Nepal. This massive complex is home to palaces, temples and courtyards. The original center of Kathmandu is often named as Basantapur, Hanuman Dhoka or Durbar Square all representing the same location. Kathmandu Durbar square has various historical royal and governmental institutions mixed with temples of different styles and ages. It may seem a little bit crowded with lots of buildings and temples built around on a very small area.
This important historical attraction has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site and you will certainly want to include a tour of the area in the itinerary.
Attractions in Durbar Square:
The main attraction of Durbar Square is Hanuman Dhoka Palace Complex. The striking palace was named in honor of the monkey god, Hanuman, and a statue of the unusual deity stands at the main entranceway. The palace is decorated with elaborately-carved wooden windows and panels and houses the King Tribhuwan Memorial museum and the Mahendra Museum. In 1672, during Pratapa Malla’s reign, an image of Hanuman was placed in front of the portal to keep away evil spirits and disease. The figure still looks threatening though centuries of anointing with mustard oil and cinnebar (vermilion) have eroded its features.
At the southern end of the Durbar Square there is the most curious attraction in Nepal, the Kumari Chowk. You would be able to see a Kumari House, where the Living Goddess of Nepal resides. The living Goddess, Kumari, is a young girl who is chosen from the Shakya community through an ancient and mystical selection process to become the human incarnation of Hindu Goddess, Taleju.
In the normal office hour it is forbidden to drive in the Durbar Square. The guards in the entrance of the Durbar Square are however vigilant and are better at catching tourists who have to pay a fee to enter the area. If you stay for a while, bring a passport photo and stick it to your ticket, get a stamp and you will be done with the one-time fee.
The another attraction you would see is the Manju Deval. This triple story temple is dedicated to the god Shiva and was constructed in 1692.
|Manju Deval, Kathmandu Durbar Square||A temple in Kathmandu Durbar Square with lots of pigeons. Pigeons are symbol of peace.|
Another interesting religious site to see in Kathmandu Durbar Square is Kasthamandap. According to legend this structure was built using wood from a single tree. Originally a community hall, Kasthamandap eventually became a temple dedicated to Gorakhnath. The name of capital city is named after this temple. Once a year a huge ceremony is performed in the temple. On that day people gather around the temple, and they stay up all night. The people share the legendary stories about the temple, and enjoy themselves with different varieties of foods. This temple is one of the major tourist attractions too. Everyone is allowed to visit inside the temple, but people are not allowed to take photographs inside the temple.
Temples aren’t the only sights to see in Kathmandu Durbar Square, statues also abound. A statue worth noting is the dancing Krishna located in the shrine of Nasal Chowk.
Kala Bhairav is a massive stone statue of Shiva in his frightening aspect. Visitors to Durbar Square in Kathmandu will also appreciate the botanical garden of Bhandarkal. Commissioned by King Pratap Mall in the 1600s, the garden is filled with natural beauty.
Life Style in Kathmandu Durbar Square
Kathmandu Durbar Square is a living museum where you can witness the finest templescapes in the world. It is a very lively place with lots of commercial activities, religious ceremonies and all sorts of things going on.
There are several pagoda style temples. It would be a wise thing to climb to one of those temples and just enjoy the view from the top. It is a very artistic place and if you are interested in photography you would love it. However, if you want to take pictures of people walking around, please ask for the permission at first.
You can take a three wheeled rickshaw in the Durbar Square and have a short trip on this interesting place. If you are lucky enough and the driver of rickshaw is interesting, you would be able to know the hidden things about the Kathmandu Durbar Square. If you decide to take a rickshaw, you can request the driver to go around Thamel area as well. The trip will be very adventurous because you have to go through some very narrow roads and you would see lots of temples everywhere.
|3- wheeled rickshaw in Durbar Square.||Souvenirs for sale in Durbar Square|
Souvenirs are something that you wouldn’t want to miss when you are wandering around Kathmandu Durbar Square. The thing you need to keep in mind is the price and quality of the material. When you are in Nepal, be prepared for bargains. There are several rows of souvenir sellers in the market in Durbar Square.
Durbar Square even becomes more lively in the evening time. Night marketwill start around 5 o’clock and continues until 8 or 9 normally. It would be a great experience to wander in the Durbar Square in the night time. The temples look even more spectacular on the night time. There are plenty of shopping carts around Asan, Indra Chowk, Newroad Chowks and Kumari Chowks. Just make sure you are conscious about your belongings while you are visiting the places; especially in the evening.
You would be able to get a general description of the durbar Square on any travel books or the brochure you get with the ticket when you enter.
If you haven’t seen this place, then you haven’t seen Kathmandu. There is so much going on. It is the best place when you would enjoy and better know about the Kathmandu and its culture and traditions.