It was still our second day in Nepal and a local guy who we met while roaming around recommended seeing Durbar Square in Kathmandu. He volunteered to take us there but we opted to go by ourselves, we just asked the direction. I can’t recall what streets we passed by to reach Durbar Square, but the important thing is that we found the place.
Durbar Square is the generic name used to describe plazas opposite old royal palaces in Nepal. Before the Unification of Nepal, Nepal consisted of small kingdoms, and Durbar Squares are most prominent remnants of those old kingdoms in Nepal. In particular, three Durbar Squares in the Kathmandu Valley, belonging to the three kingdoms situated there before unification, are most famous: Kathmandu (Hanuman) Durbar Square, Patan Durbar Square, and Bhaktapur Durbar Square. [Source: Link]
The amount charged to enter the Square is categorized from where you came from. If you came from SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) country, the charge is NPR100 ($1.24). If other countries it triples the price to NPR300 (US$3.71). Well, we were charged NPR600.
(to read the excerpts properly)
* World Heritage Monument *
(Listed in 1979)
This complex of palaces, courtyards and temples used to the seat of the ancient Malla Kings of Kathmandu. These monuments were built from the time of King Ratna Malla (1484 – 1520 AD) to King Prithvi Bir Bikram Shah (1881 – 1911 AD). But the existence of the 7th century inscription proved that the antiquity of the palace complex goes back to the Licchhavi period. This palace complex came to be known as Hanuman Dhoka Durbar after the installation of the image of Hanuman at tis entrance by King Pratap Malla in 1672 AD. It is the biggest royal palace complex of the medieval period in Nepal. King Mahendra Malla (1560 – 1574 AD) built the temple of Mulchowk the main courtyard, which is one of the oldest parts of the complex. King Nasal Chowk, Mohan Chowk and Bhandarkhal garden.
After the conquest of Kantipur by King Prithvi Narayan Shah of Gorkha in 1768 AD, Kathmandu was declared the capital city of the new unified Kingdom of Nepal. He built Basantapur Durbar the tallest residential palace in temple architecture in 1770 AD. King Pratap Singh Shah (1775 – 1777 AD) expanded Basantapur Palace and built Vilas Mandir and the courtyard.
Prime Minister Jung Bahadur Rana introduced neo-classical architecture of Europe after 1851 AD. Prime Minites Chandra SJB Rana built the Gaddi Vaithak in neo-classical style in 1907 AD.
Numerous temples were built around the palace such as Kasthamandap (12th century), Kumarlghar (1756 AD), Manjudeval (1690 AD), Shiva Parvati Temple (18th century AD), Jaganath Temple (1633 AD). Narayan Temple (1696 AD), Chyasin Da (1649 AD), Kavindrapur (1656 AD).
It is here that the King of Nepal is crowned and his coronation solemnized.
Here are some more photos.