• Last Updated on May 7, 2022

Kathmandu Durbar Square: An UNESCO cultural heritage sites in Kathmandu

Located in the heart of Basantapur, Kathmandu Durbar Square is a historic site that showcases the intricate wood carvings and rich cultural heritage of old Kathmandu city. Despite being surrounded by modern concrete buildings, the complex remains a peaceful oasis in the midst of a rapidly developing and bustling city. Visitors are sure to be inspired by the complex's beauty and fascinating history.

Kathmandu Durbar Square, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, was once the royal residence of Nepal's monarchs and the site of all coronation ceremonies. The architecture of the palace is a blend of eastern and western styles, with additions made by Rana and Shah Rulers over the centuries. The square is home to impressive temples, including the main temple dedicated to the goddess Taleju Bhawani.

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Brief History of Kathmandu Durbar Square

Sadly, there are no documents stating the history of this durbar square, but the construction of the palace is ascribed to Shankardev (1069-1083). After this, it is said that the first independent king of Kathmandu Ratna Malla built the Taleju temple on the northern side of the palace in 1501. There are no clearly stated inscriptions for the constructions of the courtyards such as Mul Chowk and Karnel Chowk courtyard. The Karnel Chowk courtyard is considered to be the oldest among all of the courtyards.

Kathmandu Durbar Square is home to many ancient temples and palaces. One of the most notable temples is the Bhagwati temple, which was originally built by King Jagajaya Malla as a tribute to Lord Narayan. However, after the statue was stolen, King Prithvi Narayan Shah replaced it with an image of Goddess Bhagwati and changed the name of the temple. During this time, many other temples were also constructed, including the Jagannath and Mahendreswara temples. Today, Kathmandu Durbar Square is a popular tourist destination and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Kathmandu Durbar Square is a historic site that underwent significant development during the reign of Pratap Malla. He oversaw the construction of a beautiful entrance adorned with paintings and carvings of deities and other auspicious creatures. Additionally, he built the Hanuman-Dhoka Durbar, which originated from a statue of Hanuman that he erected at the entrance of the royal palace in 1672 A.D. Today, this palace is known as Basantapur Durbar and remains an important cultural landmark in Kathmandu.

During the reign of Narasinha, several important structures were built, including the beautiful image of Narasinha, the Sundari Chowk, Krishna temple, and the Vamsa Gopala. Narasinha also contributed to the renovation of many old temples in the area. Later, during the Shah Dynasty, Kathmandu Durbar Square continued to evolve and transform.

Kathmandu Durbar Square is home to a variety of Hindu and Buddhist temples, many of which are sculpted in the pagoda style and feature intricately carved exteriors. One notable temple is the Nautale temple, which has four roofs and is believed to have been a pleasure house during its time. Other architectural advancements in the square include the Gaddi baithak or Gaddi durbar, which was constructed in European architectural designs. Most of the structures in the square date back to the fifteenth to eighteenth century.

Kathmandu Durbar Square is a historic site that showcases the religious and social life of the people. It is home to several ancient temples and royal residences, including the Kumari Ghar, Kasthamandap, and Mahadev Temple. Visitors can also explore the Shiva Parvati Temple, Bhagwati Temple, Old Royal Residence, Saraswati Sanctuary, Krishna Octangular Temple, Big Drums, Kal Bhairav, Jagannath Temple, Taleju Temple, and many other fascinating landmarks.

Hanuman Statue in Kathmandu Durbar Squire


Some interesting facts about Kathmandu Durbar Square


  • Kathmandu Durbar Square is comprised of two sub-regions. The external complex is prestigious for various intriguing sanctuaries such as Kumari Ghar, Kasthamandap, Shiv-Parvati Temple, Jagannath Temple, Big Bell, and so on, while the inward intricate involves the old royal residence region, Hanuman-Dhoka, and its courts as Nasal Chowk, Mul Chowk, Sundari Chowk, Basantapur Durbar and other.
  • Other than the magnificent temple and hallowed places, it has other fascinating viewpoints which are differentially celebrated cultural activities and traditions followed by individuals for hundreds of years, which are exhibited in Durbar Square.
  • The main festivals that are celebrated here are Indra Jatra, Dashain, Gaijatra, Machchhindra-Nath Jatra, etc…. These are the event when the general population from everywhere throughout the city assemble here to stamp their hundreds of years old customs. All the carvings and design around there are incredibly fine, which make the engineering in this Hanuman-Dhoka Durbar square among the most significant sights for explorers to see.

Things to see in Kathmandu Durbar Square

Wandering around Durbar Palace

Various Hindu and Buddhist sanctuary is dating as far back as the twelfth century. Shockingly, a seismic tremor has crushed southern premises, where havens and structures were stranded. Redesign works are being held so that Basantapur would ascend as previously.

Strolling around the maze of Thangka arts

Have you at any point been intrigued by moved-up artistic creations of Buddha divinity, scene, or mandala? They are irregular depictions; not shielded underneath the casings but rather protected in either silk or cotton appliqué. Get enamored inside the illumination way of Buddha and Bodhisattvas. Basantapur is charmed by a lot more Thangka looks around.

Exploring the old cities

Aside from the chronicled touring, explore each edge of the path and get vindicated with thin, swarmed, and business areas road. At Makhan Tole, on the northeastern corner of Durbar Square, head along Siddhidas Marg to the flooding business segment square of Indra Chowk, where five lanes blend. Continue straight along Siddhidas Marg to Kel Tole, which has a standout amongst Kathmandu's most extravagant sanctuaries – the Seto Machhendranath Temple. Advance along Siddhidas Marg, and you will get snared in Ason's busiest hurdles.

Getting acquainted with temples

Kathmandu Durbar Square is stacked with previous Malla and Shah Dynasty heaps. A giant idol of Kal Bhairav, once a year opening in Taleju Temple, the ponder of Kasthamandap, activities fascinate from Maru Ganesha, Vishnu asylum called Trailokya Mohan Narayan, Sano Pashupatinath, Hanuman Statue, a tremendous chime, Courtyard of Kumari Bahal, a haven of Narasimha known as Dhansa and some more.

Recent news about Kathmandu Durbar Square

A monstrous seismic tremor on 25th April 2015 had destroyed several relics of Basantapur. On Saturday morning, a 7.9 extent seismic tremor hit Nepal, obliterating the capital of Kathmandu and making inestimable harm to homes and organizations.

And how reconstruction work is going on and hopefully, it will be completed soon, and the Kathmandu Durbar Squire will be in its old position soon.


A visit to Kathmandu Durbar Squire is included in the Half Day tour of Kathmandu, Full Day Kathmandu Tour, Taste of Nepal Tour, Glimpse of Nepal Tour, and most of the trek package under Outfitter Himalaya.

Arjun Rijal

Arjun Rijal

Hello, Hi & Namaste from the Himalayas !!!

I am Arjun Rijal, Founder Director of the Outfitter Himalaya Holidays P. Ltd & working as a travel planner/consultant for Nepal, Bhutan, and Tibet Travel. I love hiking, trekking, and traveling.

I have been in most of the trekking regions in Nepal, that include Everest Base Camp, Annapurna Base camp, Annapurna Circuit, Manaslu, and Langtang. I also have travelled to Bhutan, India & planning further travel to many other countries in the world.

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