Kathmandu, Nepal – Durbar Square

Durbar means palace, and this area is very much the centre of the old city where the city’s royalty were crowned and celebrated. Along the way we had already enjoyed a vast array of Buddhist stupas, Hindu temples, shrines during our Lonely Planet walking tour (which, we noticed, so many other tourists were also doing) however were impressed by the number of temples clustered around Durbar Square. Highlights included;

Kasthamandap Temple – the oldest of the buildings in the square, building in the 12th century and which Kathmandu is named after.

Maju Devel – we joined many other Nepalese as we sat on the steps of this 17th century Shiva temple which overlooks the bustling area below.

Kumari Bahal – I was quite surprised to read that the Nepalese worship a real-life goddess – the Kumari Devi – and this is the house where she lives. The Kumari is basically a little girl, selected based on a rigid physical criteria and is tested to ensure she is able to select the correct items of her predecessor. She lives in the Kumari Bahal with her family, making occasional appearances, and is worshipped by the people. Once she reaches puberty she becomes mortal and another girl is selected. We somehow managed to visit on a day where she was making an appearance, a brief but fascinating appearance (particularly watching other people’s reactions upon seeing her). She was a normal childlike, young girl, with a face full of makeup.

Hanuman Dhoka palace – a massive palace complex guarded by an orange Hanuman statute out the front. Inside the palace are museums commemorating King Tribhuvan, King Mahendra and Birenda. Some extremely erotic carvings were evident in the courtyard of the Basantapur Tower.

DSLR camera, GPS, Lonely Planet, backpack, Travis' blending in wellWell known Ganesh shrine, the deity with an elephant headKasthamandap Temple at Durbar Square
Man making garlands of marigold flowers used by HindusTrailokya Mohan Narayan temple with Garuda kneeling before itMaru Ganesh Mandir
Shiva-Parvati Temple with stone snow lions guarding the entranceShiva-Parvati Temple with stone snow lions guarding the entranceShiva-Parvati Temple in Kathmandu Durbar Square
Bhagwati TempleTrailokya Mohan Narayan templeKumari Bahal (House of the Living Goddess) with intricate carved windows
Durbar Square KathmanduGoddess KaliTemple to Kam Dev, a companion of Shiva, with a tall corncob like spire
Hanuman statue cloaked in red and sheltered by an umbrellaTaleju Temple Hindu temple entranceSnow lions guarding the entrance to Taleju Temple
Stone inscription written in fifteen languages to the goddess KalikaA chaitya completely shattered by a bodhi treeHindu deity Shiva holding trident and transport of Nandi the bull
Taleju Temple Hindu temple viewed from the sideGaruda Statue seen outside Taleju TempleKala Bhairab at Durbar Square
View from the inner court of the Hanuman Dhoka (Royal Palace)View from the inner court of the Hanuman Dhoka (Royal Palace)Intricate wooden windows of the Hanuman Dhoka (Royal Palace)
Great Bell elevated atop a white building erected by Rana Bahadur ShahBustling freak street, named due to inhabitants in the sixtiesGarbage lit on fire, a commonality to dispose of waste



We had a delicious Thakali daal baaht for dinner in Thamel.

Daal bhaat, traditional Nepalese staple consisting of dal and rice