Kathmandu Durbar Square, also known as "Basantapur Durbar Square", "Hanuman Dhoka Durbar Square", or "Durbar Square", is a major tourist destination in Kathmandu Valley and is located within walking distance of Thamel. The Kathmandu Durbar Square housed the palaces of the city's rulers, the Malla and Shah monarchs.
How to Get in Kathmandu Durbar Square?
If you're staying in the Thamel area, it's just a short 15-20 minute walk from Thamel to Kathmandu Durbar Square. Be prepared for some lively and narrow walkways.
If you're staying farther from Thamel, you can book a taxi and ask the driver to drop you off at the new road gate. From there, it's less than 1 kilometer west to the Durbar Square area.
When you arrive at Kathmandu Durbar Square, you'll notice a ticket counter near Kumari Ghar. You'll need to purchase an entrance ticket to explore the area. The ticket counter is available at all major entrance points. The entrance fee is 150 NPR for SAARC nationals and 1000 NPR for other nationals. The ticket is valid for one day, but if you plan to visit frequently, you can convert it to a long-stay ticket.
Now, let's explore the must-see sites in Kathmandu Durbar Square:
- Basantapur Square: This vibrant area is filled with a bustling market offering antiques, jewelry, and handicrafts.
- The Kumari Ghar: Visit the famous Kumari Ghar, the residence of the Living Goddess Kumari. It's an architectural gem and a major attraction in Durbar Square.
- Trailokya Mohan Temple: Built-in 1680 and dedicated to Vishnu/Narayan, this temple is accessed from the other side of Kumari Ghar.
- Garuda: Marvel at the Garuda statue standing in front of the Trailokya Mohan Temple's western entrance, showcasing the cultural heritage of the Lichchhavi era.
- Gaddi Baithak: Admire the white neoclassical Gaddi Baithak, designed by Rana Prime Minister Chandra Shamsher in 1908.
- Kasthamandap: Explore Kasthamandap, a public wood pavilion, and pilgrim shelter with a shrine of Gorakshanath inside. The city of Kathmandu is named after this iconic building.
- Kaal Bhairav: Witness the impressive sculpture of Kaal Bhairav, the fierce form of Lord Shiva, sculpted during the 5th or 6th century.
- Jagannath Temple: Visit one of the oldest structures in Durbar Square, the Jagannath Temple, known for its unique roof struts with intriguing erotic carvings.
- Taleju Temple: Be awe-inspired by the grand Taleju Temple, the tallest structure in Kathmandu Durbar Square, surrounded by smaller temples.
- Hanuman Dhoka: Pass through the Hanuman Dhoka, the palace's main entrance guarded by a standing statue of Lord Hanuman, which gave the palace its name.
- Hanuman Dhoka Palace Museum: Explore Kathmandu's royal palace, originally founded during the Licchavi period and expanded by King Pratap Malla in the 17th century.
Beyond these sites, there are other courtyards like Nasal Chowk, Mohan Chowk, Sundar Chowk, Lohan Chowk, Mul Chowk, and Nag Pokhari, each with its own historical significance.
Enjoy your time exploring the wonders of Kathmandu Durbar Square!
Basantapur Square is occupied by a big open market. There is a great collection of antiques, jewelry, and handicraft items there.
It is one of Kathmandu's most famous buildings and is most likely the major reason tourists visit Durbar Square.
Gaddi Baithak is a white neoclassical edifice designed by Rana Prime Minister Chandra Shamsher in 1908.
Asan, Kathmandu’s local market
The iconic local market ‘Asan’ is definitely the best place to buy souvenirs and handicrafts, but also authentic local food, spices, fabrics, jewelry and so much more.
Kathmandu Durbar Square is one of three Durbar Squares (Patan Durbar Square and Bhaktapur Durbar Square) in Nepal's Kathmandu Valley. Since 1979, Kathmandu Durbar Square has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Did you Know Monkey Temple is just around 3KM away from the Kathmandu Durbar Square area?
Explore another UNESCO World Heritage site Swayambhunath(Monkey Temple).