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Kathmandu Durbar Square

Kathmandu Dubar Square

Kathmandu Durbar Square
Kathmandu Durbar Square

The 2015 earthquake left most of Kathmandu Durbar Square in ruin.  Since the earthquake, a massive recovery effort was initiated, and a lot of the buildings are being restored.   All the damaged buildings are expected to be refurbished by 2020.  One highlight of Kathmandu Durbar Square is the presence of the living goddess (kumari).

If you would like to learn more about Buddhist and Hindu gods, click here. This site should not be confused with the Patan Durbar Square and the Bhaktapur Durbar Square.

Kathmandu Dubar Square is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, one of many in Nepal.  In addition, it has an outdoor market, and many beautiful carvings and engravings on buildings.

Entrance fee

The entrance fee is $10, but you might be able to enter the area from a side alley.  The entrances are well guarded, and it would be difficult to get past a check point without paying the entrance fee.

History

Kathmandu Durbar Square
Kathmandu Durbar Square

Kathmandu Durbar square started with the construction of the royal palace in the Licchavi period (400-750).  King Mahendra Malla built more temples and expanded the square.  He added Jagannath temple in 1563, Taleju Temple in 1564, and Kotilingeshwar Mahadev Temple afterward on an unknown date.

Kathmandu Durbar Square
Kathmandu Durbar Square

After Mahendra Malla’s death, his son took the throne and began an extensive building campaign.  He built Vamsagopala in 1649.  Between 1649 and 1670 he built two other temples, the Agamachem temple, and a 5 roofed temple, both in the northern area of the palace (Mohan Chok).  During this time span, he also restored Taleju Temple, Degutaleju Temple, Shiva temple.  In addition, he built another temple dedicated to shiva (Indrapur) and decorated the Jagannath Temple with carvings.  He also built the pavilion Kavindrapura and decorated the area with fountains, ponds, and baths.

Kathmandu Durbar Square
Kathmandu Durbar Square

His son died in 1674, but his family slowly built Trailokya Mohan, Maju Deval, Kageshwor Temple, and Kumari Bahal up to 1746.

Then, in 1770, Prthivi Narayan Shah built Basantapur Durbar, and Lam Chok, but no other major additions were added after King Shah’s death in 1785.

How to find Kathmandu Durbar square

Kathmandu Durbar square is about 1 mile south west of Thamel.  It will take you about 20 minutes to walk, or 10 minutes to drive.  You can book your Kathmandu sight seeing tour with Upper Himalayan Treks and Adventure. Click here to learn about some of what you can see on your tour.

Length of stay

In its current condition, I wouldn’t spend more than 1 hour there.  That is plenty of time to see the Kumari, and walk around and take pictures.

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