Rounding the corner to the Durbar Square proper brings you to the midst of Kathmandu’s famed medieval architecture, and everyday activities both awe-inspiring and baffling. And here the magic of Kathmandu starts.
A royal premise of the ancient Kings of Kathmandu, this area hosts a number of artistic courtyards, historical palaces and monuments abound. It is currently known as “Hanuman Dhoka Palace” derived from the statue of Hanuman, the monkey God, which is placed near the palace entrance. With three different museums inside the building, the southern block houses “Kumari”, the living goddess who makes occasional appearance during religious festivals. Highly revered till she teaches puberty, her feet are never allowed to touch the ground. The Durbar Square is encompassed with astounding building design and distinctively showcases the aptitudes of the Newar artists and craftsmen more than a few centuries.
Walking in from the commercial drag of New Road, pause for a minute beneath the imposing bulk of the old palace’s Basantapur Tower. The tower you see today is the work of Prithvi Narayan Shah’s program of building and renovation that he undertook after conquest of the Valley in 1768.
For Kathmandu has history but its timelessness lies in the fact that is still alive than it ever was; it has sacredness but no clear line to divide the divine from the mundane, the spiritual from the temporal. This is the Kathmandu of old, from where kings used to rule.