Idea #757 – Visiting the Newar Royal Palace in Kathmandu, Nepal
Darbâr Square, also called Kathmandu Durbar Square (or in Nepali वसन्तपुर दरबार क्षेत्र), refers to a square located in Kathmandu, Nepal. It owes its name of “darbâr”, ie “royal audience hall” to the court held there by the kings of Nepal until 1886. It includes a set of Hindu temples and royal palaces inherited from the Malla dynasty and the Shah dynasty.
Notable monuments include the 15th-century Kasthamandap temple dedicated to the deity of Gorakhnath, an incarnation of the god Shiva. It is built on a three-facet model, in the form of a pagoda. It is possible that the name Kathmandu derives from this name Kashtamandap.
We should also mention the palatial ensemble made up of the Hanuman Dhoka, and the royal palaces of the kings of Malla and the Shahs. The eastern wing is the oldest part dating from the middle of the 16th century. The complex was extended by King Pratap Malla in the 17th century. It has about ten courtyards and many temples. In 1768, Prithvi Narayan Shah had four watchtowers added to the southeastern part of the palace. The royal family lived in this palace, until 1886, before moving to Narayanhiti Palace.
Finally, let us mention the palace of Kumari, the Kumari Ghar, located on the edge of the Darbâr square. The Kumari, or Kumari Devi, who lives there, is a very young girl chosen from a high caste family. She is a symbol of manifestations of the divine feminine, and is believed to be the incarnation body of the goddess Taleju until she has her first period, after which the goddess is presumed to leave her body, for a new Kumari.
The city is listed as a World Heritage Site along with six other monumental ensembles in the Kathmandu Valley, including two other Darbâr squares located in Patan and Bhaktapur. Currently, the monuments have suffered greatly from the 2015 earthquake, some buildings having even collapsed.
Where is it ?
Durbar Square, Kathmandu, Nepal