Best Places to See in Kathmandu Durbar Square

Kathmandu Durbar Square is one of the oldest squares in Nepal. It is located at the heart of Kathmandu city, surrounded by temples, palaces, museums, and other historical monuments. This place is also known as the “city within a city” because of its unique architecture and is one the UNESCO World Heritage sites.

The Durbar Square Of Bhaktapur and the Patan Durbar Square are other two, Both are UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the Kathmandu Valley. 

This historic site is a great place to visit in Kathmandu Valley. Kathmandu’s Durbar Square holds much of the history of Nepal. It was once the place for monarchs to be crowned, and it remains a magnificent display of traditional architecture. The earthquake in 2015 tragically inflicted heavy damage on this complex; reconstruction and restoration efforts have helped and a large part has been restored to its original form.


History of Kathmandu durbar square

Kathmandu Durbar Square is one of the three Durbar Squares in the Kathmandu Valley, all of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The Kathmandu Durbar Square was the royal palace of the Malla kings of Nepal and subsequent rulers. It is now a public square that houses past and present palaces, temples, shrines and museums.

The history of Kathmandu dates back to around 300 AD when it was founded by King Manadeva. For centuries it remained a small principality within the Kingdom of Nepal. However, during medieval times it began to grow in power and influence. By the 14th century Kathmandu had become an important center of trade between India and Tibet. This period also saw a great flourishing of Nepali art and culture.

In 1769, Prithvi Narayan Shah unified Nepal and made Kathmandu its capital. Under his rule and those of his descendants, Kathmandu valley and entire Nepal continued to grow in power and prosperity. During this time many beautiful palaces, temples and other buildings were constructed in the city. Unfortunately, many of these were destroyed or damaged by devastating earthquakes over the years but have since been rebuilt or restored.

The name Kathmandu has its origins in Kasthamandap, a structure built of wood in the Durbar Square. It is believed that the construction of the Durbar Square dates back to the Licchavi era, approximately 400 to 750 CE. During the period of 1351 and 1769, major temples and buildings were constructed in Nepal by kings belonging to the Malla dynasty.

The coronation of King Birendra Bir Bikram Shah in 1975 was held in Kathmandu Durbar Square, during which Nasal Chowk became the venue for the event; likewise his successor Gyanendra Bir Bikram Shah’s coronation in 2001.

Basantpur / Kathmandu Durbar Square tickets charges

Ticket prices for foreigners are quite high, but still relatively affordable when compared to other places in Asia. For example, a single day pass costs 500 rupees (about $5 USD). However, if you want to visit all of the different museums and temples within the square, you will need to purchase a multi-day pass which costs 1500 rupees (about $15 USD).

Even though the entrance fee may seem steep, it is worth it to explore everything that Basantpur Durbar Square has to offer. From its ancient temples and palaces to its bustling markets and eateries, there is something for everyone at this world-famous destination of Kathmandu city. 

The Durbar Square is made up of three loosely linked squares

Basantapur Sq to the south, which retains its original character; Durbar Sq proper on the west side; and Hanuman Dhoka to the northeast where tourists enter from Thamel via an entrance gate. There are several things to see and experience here. Here are some places to visit in Kathmandu Durbar Square.

Shiva parvati temple 

One of the most popular temples in the Kathmandu Durbar Square complex is the Shiva Parvati Temple. The temple is dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva and his consort Parvati, and is one of the oldest temples in the square, dating back to around the 17th century. The exterior of the temple is decorated with carved wooden panels depicting scenes from Hindu mythology, while inside there are numerous paintings on both walls and ceilings. The temple is a popular spot for pilgrims and tourists alike, attracted by its age, history and beautiful architecture.

Kumari Palace (Kumari Bahal)

The Kumari palace is where the self-elected living goddess resides. Kumaris are girls who are believed to be incarnations of the Hindu goddess Taleju. Only Nepalis can become Kumaris, and there is a rigorous selection process involving astrologers, priests, and family members. Once chosen, a Kumari moves into the palace and is worshiped by Hindus.

The Kumari generally shows her face between 9am and 11am and in evenings. Photographing the goddess is forbidden, but you are quite free to photograph the courtyard when she is not present. The simplistic architecture of the Kumari Ghar building is comparable to any religious cathedral. It was built in 1757 by Jaya Prakash Malla and contains an intricate miniature stupa that embodies the ideology of Saraswati, goddess of celestial knowledge. A large gate next to the Kumari Bahal conceals a huge grand chariot that transports the The Living Goddes Kumari around town on an annual Indra Jatra festival.

Taleju bhawani temple 

The Taleju Bhawani Temple is a towering structure located in the Kathmandu Durbar Square. It is one of the most important temples in Nepal and is dedicated to the goddess Taleju Bhawani. The temple was built in the 16th century by King Mahendra Malla and is a prominent example of Nepalese architecture. The temple complex is adorned with beautiful carvings and paintings, and the main shrine houses a large statue of the goddess Taleju Bhawani. worshippers flock to this temple to offer prayers and offerings, and it remains an important site for religious festivals and celebrations. it’s only for hindu’s and entry is only allowed for hindus.

Kaal bhairav temple 

The Kaal Bhairav temple is one of the most important temples in Nepal. It is located in the Kathmandu Durbar Square, and is considered to be the guardian deity of the city. The temple is dedicated to Lord Bhairava, who is a fierce manifestation of Lord Shiva. The temple is said to have been built by King Pratap Malla in 1673. It has a black stone image of Lord Bhairava, which is enshrined in the main sanctum. The image has four arms, and each arm holds a different weapon. lord bhairava is also known as kala bhairava, and he is considered to be the god of time and death. Every day, hundreds of devotees visit this temple to offer their prayers and seek blessings from Lord Bhairava. The temple complex also houses other shrines dedicated to Goddess Annapoorna, Goddess Kali, andLord Ganesh.There is also a small shrine dedicated to Nandi (the bull), which is situated outside the main sanctum.

Sweta bhairav temple 

The temple is situated in front of the old royal palace and next to Kasthamandap Temple. As you walk through the temple, you can admire the magnificent sculpture of Swet Bhairava, something you don’t get to see very often. The Bhairava is a giant sculpture of Lord Shiva. The statue depicts Bhairava with protruding teeth and large bulging eyes, wearing a golden crown burning with raging blazes decorated with skulls and a crescent moon. The Swet Bhairava is another epithet for Lord Shiva, which means “white” or “fair” in Sanskrit language. The Bhairava sculpture in Square was set up by the King Prithvi Narayan Shah and since then it has been kept secret behind wooden latticed windows. It is only exposed once a year in the annual Indra Jatra festival.

Akash bhairav temple 

Yalamber, also known as Yalamber, is the Kiranta God of War. The blue-skinned deity is considered to be a calmer form of Bhairava and protector of children. He is also worshiped by married couples for a happy married life. The sculpture of Akash Bhairava is the head of Kirant King Yalamber of Yalung, who was considered to be an incarnation of the warrior god Barbarika in Hindu mythology. Barbarika was bound by his principle of fighting on behalf of weaker parties.

One of the dances is an ancient, masked ritual dance performed in honor of Chandi or Akash Bhairavnath. The dance is performed by the Newari community.

Hanuman dhoka 

Hanuman Dhoka is one of the most important historical landmarks in Kathmandu. It is a complex of temples, palaces and courtyards that was once the seat of the Nepalese Royalty. The name Hanuman Dhoka comes from a statue of Hanuman, the Hindu monkey god, that stands at the entrance to the complex. The Hanuman Dhoka complex is a fascinating blend of Hindu and Buddhist influences.

The temples and palaces were built over a period of centuries, and the architecture reflects the changes in religious and political power during that time. The history of the Hanuman Dhoka complex is closely intertwined with the history of Nepal itself. The first temple was built in the 14th century, during the reign of King Bhupatindra Malla. Over the next few hundred years, successive kings added to the complex, including temples, palaces and shrines dedicated to different gods and goddesses. In 1768, Prithvi Narayan Shah conquered Kathmandu Valley and made it his capital. He renamed Hanuman Dhoka as Durbar Square, or Royal Square, and it became the seat of Nepalese royalty.

Nasal Chowk 

Nasal Chowk is one of the many courtyards in the Kathmandu Durbar Square complex. It is named after a statue of Nasaji, a general who served under King Prithvi Narayan Shah. The statue used to stand in the middle of the courtyard, but it was destroyed in the 2015 major earthquake and has not been replaced. The courtyard is bordered by some of the most important buildings in the square, including Taleju Temple, Hanuman Dhoka Palace, and Mohan Chok. There are also several smaller temples and shrines scattered throughout Nasal Chowk.

Hanuman Dhoka Palace Museum 

The Hanuman Dhoka Palace Museum houses a wealth of historical and cultural artifacts from Nepal’s long and rich history. From ancient statues and weaponry to traditional Nepali musical instruments, the Hanuman Dhoka Palace Museum has something for everyone. The museum is named after Hanuman, the Hindu god of strength and courage. A visit to the Hanuman Dhoka Palace Museum is a must-do for anyone interested in learning more about Nepali culture and history. With its wide variety of exhibits, there is something here for everyone to enjoy. So make sure to add it to your list of places to see when you’re in Nepal!

Jagannath temple 

This temple is dedicated to Lord Jagannath, a form of Hindu Lord Vishnu. The temple is a beautiful example of Nepali architecture, with its intricate carvings and paintings. Today, the Jagannath temple stands as a proud symbol of Nepali culture and religion.

Chasin dega 

Built in 1649 by Pratap Metal, this temple is dedicated to the memory of his queens. Both queens were great devotees of Krishna, hence the shrine is dedicated to Vansagopal. Amongst deities worshiped here are Krishna, Rukmini and Satyabhama. The roof of the temple has three points and it is said that all three queens are looking down at their lord from atop the roof.

Kotilingeshwar Mahadev temple 

The Kotilingeshwar Mahadev temple is a prominent Hindu temple located in the Kathmandu durbar square of Nepal. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is one of the oldest temples in the country. The Kotilingeshwar Mahadev temple has undergone several renovations over the centuries. The temple complex is surrounded by a number of small shops selling religious items and offering services to pilgrims.

The Mahendreshwar temple 

At the extreme northern end of Durbar Square you will find this temple. It was built by King Mahendra Malla in the 16th century. It is a three-storied pagoda-style Temple with a central dome and four smaller ones at the corners. The main shrine is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The northeast corner depicts Kama Deva: the temple has a large plinth, and is topped by an umbrella.

Big Drums 

Despite its ominous appearance, it was used to warn the city of imminent danger, The great drums still stand in a regal pavilion to the north of Hanuman Dhoka. Even though they are now only used for ceremonial purposes, they are still an integral part of Nepal’s rich cultural heritage. A goat and a buffalo must be sacrificed to the drums once or twice every year.

Great Bell 

The Great Bell, rung only during puja at a nearby Degutaleju temple, drives off evil spirits. As you leave the southern part of Durbar Sq along Makhan Tole, look to your left to see it. The bell is placed atop of white building built by Rana Bahadur Shah in 1797.

Gaddi Baithak 

It is a domineering white building built in the neoclassical style,it was used for coronations and welcoming visitors from other countries, and is found on Durbar Square. The structure suffered greatly during the recent earthquake but has been restored to preserve the historical value of this landmark. Originally designed as part of Hanuman Dhoka Palace in 1908, it contrasts starkly with its historic surroundings. A page of European masterpiece in the book of nepali architecture.


Kasthamandap was built in the 16th century by King Lakshmi Narsingh Malla. Kasthamandap was a three tier public shelter located near Maru that included a shrine consecrated to Gorakhshanath. This is made entirely of wood, without nails or supports. The roof is supported by 12 pillars. Kasthamandap has three stories and it is covered with intricate carvings of gods, goddesses, animals and scenes from Hindu mythology. Kasthamandap was badly damaged by the earthquake in 2015 but it has been restored to its original glory. The is a popular tourist destination and it attracts thousands of visitors every year.

Bhagwati Temple 

The Bhagwati temple, at the northwest corner of the Gaddhi Baithak (Hall), surmounts a building that obscures it. It is topped by three storeys and three onion-shaped domes which represent the trinity Durga. This temple is located in Hanuman Dhoka Palace of Kathmandu, Nepal. It also recently sustained some damage during the earthquake but the main structure remains relatively undamaged. King Jagat Jaya Malla built the temple and installed an image of Naryan. In 1766, when Prithvi Narayan Shah conquered the valley, he had a goddess Bhagwati image placed there instead.

Degutaleju Temple 

The Degutaleju temple is a popular shrine among the Nepalese people. Located within Hanuman Dhoka, this temple features triple roofing – much like an older style of architecture. This is a Hindu temple dedicated to Taleju Bhawani, the royal goddess of the Malla dynasty of Nepal. It was built in 1564 by Mahendra Malla and is located in Hanuman Dhoka. Inside the temple, there’s a shrine dedicated to Taleju Bhawani & Kumari Devi. Taleju Temple is only opened once a year on the occasion of Dashain.

Tribhuvan Museum 

The palace wing constructed by the Ranas to the west of Durbar Square in mid-to-late 19th century overlooks present-day markets. The place became a museum dedicated to King Tribhuvan. This place suffered a lot from the earthquake and it is getting restored.

Freak Street

You must definitely visit Freak Street if you visit Kathmandu durbar square. The former hippie road was famous in the 60s when mari@#na  was legalized in Nepal. 


Hotels Near Kathamndu Durbar Square

Hotels near kathamndu durbar square:The Kathmandu Durbar Square is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Nepal. It is also one of the busiest square in the country, as it is full of shops, restaurants, and hotels. If you’re looking for a place to stay near the Kathmandu Durbar Square, there are plenty of options available. The first thing to consider when choosing a hotel near the Kathmandu Durbar Square is your budget. There are both luxury and budget hotels in the area.


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