10 Reasons why you need to visit Kathmandu Durbar Square before you die!

If you are travelling to Kathmandu you will NEED to see the Kathmandu Durbar Square.

It is one of the most important tourist attractions in Kathmandu , Nepal. The Durbar Square is located in the centre of the city, surrounded by beautiful markets and winding streets. On the square you will see lots of gorgeous temples and ancient palaces that reflect the very rich history and culture of Nepal.

If that does not get your heart beating faster, here I have brought together 10 reasons why you NEED to visit the Kathmandu Durbar Square before you die!

It lets you step back in time

Stepping into Kathmandu Durbar Square is a bit like stepping through a magic portal into the past. There is so much to see and experience here and most of the temples and palaces date back to the 16th and 17th centuries. How much these stones and intricate carvings on the temples would have seen!

I am a history buff myself and I love coming to the Durbar Square. Even after 4 years of living in Kathmandu, I still notice something new or learn something interesting about the Durbar Square every single time I visit!

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The square and the temples are architectural wonders

Kathmandu Durbar Square and the temples you can find here are honestly beautiful architectural wonders. Many of the temples have beautifully carved struts and wooden beams. And even after four years of living in Kathmandu, I still notice something new in the details here every single time I visit. I just love hunting for cute little details such as the little dog carved in one of the struts in Kumari Ghar.

You can catch a glimpse of a living godess

Did you know a goddess lived on Durbar Square? You can still catch a glimpse of her every now and then. The Kumari lives in Kumari Ghar. The Kumari a little girl who is the human form of the goddess Durga. She is brought out during some of the most important festivals and jatras of the city. Sometimes, you can actually catch a glimpse of the Kumari when you visit Kumari Ghar on Kathmandu Durbar Square.

There are lots of amazing festivals held on the square

Kathmandu Durbar Square is often home to many amazing festivals, such as Holi, Dashain, Indra Jatra, and of course, Tihar, which is known as Diwali in India. When you visit Durbar Square during these festivals, you can see many people praying, lighting little candles, and sometimes even enjoying dances and music. If you want to know when these festivals are being held, you can always check my article here.

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The Durbar Square of Kathmandu is a treasure trove of museums

There are also a couple of museums near Kathmandu Durbar Square, including Hanuman Dhoka, which is a museum showcasing the lives of Nepali royalty. Hanuman Dhoka, a royal palace built by the Malla dynasty right on Durbar Square, contains some of the most important palanquins used by the Nepali royal family. You can enter the museum for free with your ticket to Kathmandu Durbar Square. I would really recommend you do so because the palanquins are out of this world. Seeing the beautiful courtyards in the museum is also highly recommended.

The square is a photographer’s dream!

Kathmandu Durbar Square truly is a photographer’s dream. Take it from me, as someone who loves photography, you won’t know where to snap pictures first. Would it be the people praying, the vendors selling little flowers for offerings, or the beautiful, gorgeous temple with all the pigeons and priests? There is so much to see and do. If you are a photographer, I would definitely make sure to spend at least an hour, maybe two, at Durbar Square because you will want to take a lot of pictures.

Here you can really feel the heartbeat of Kathmandu

When you visit Kathmandu Durbar Square, you can really feel the heartbeat of Kathmandu. Sure, it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site, but it’s not just some static museum or relic from the past. Kathmandu Durbar Square and its temples are still used every single day by people living in Kathmandu, as well as those traveling from far and wide to visit these sacred and very important Hindu temples. Here, you can see people going about their day, selling goods, or walking from one place to another. It really feels like you are getting to know Kathmandu better by visiting Kathmandu Durbar Square.

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There is lots of amazing shopping to do in the area

Close to Kathmandu Durbar Square, you will find the Ason and Indra Chowk markets. These are some of my absolute favorite places to go in Kathmandu because there is so much to see, do, and buy. Ason Market is very well known for its spices and garments, while Indra Chowk Market is renowned for its beautiful beaded necklaces, gold shops, and fabric shops. I often go to these markets to buy fabric for sewing and tailoring, and to purchase spices, or just to walk around because I love the amazing atmosphere here.

You can learn more about hinduism and buddhism

One of the things I would really recommend when visiting Kathmandu Durbar Square is to get a guide. There’s a guy who hangs around by the ticket offices who’s incredibly nice and not very expensive. I would pay him about a thousand rupees for a tour per person, and he will tell you everything you need to know about Hinduism and Buddhism as it relates to Kathmandu Durbar Square, where both faiths have shrines.

The only thing I would recommend when you take a guide at Kathmandu Durbar Square is to tell them not to take you to any shops if you’re not interested in that. I know that the guide hanging around the ticket offices will often bring tourists to a Mandala shop. If that is something you want to see, obviously you can, but I know a lot of seasoned travelers are not really that interested.

You will be helping to rebuild a piece of important history

Last but not least, by visiting, we also help to rebuild a piece of important history. Entry to Kathmandu Durbar Square costs about 1,000 rupees, and this money goes toward the upkeep of the area. Kathmandu Durbar Square was almost completely leveled during the 2015 earthquake. With the help of experts from all over the world and a significant amount of foreign funding, a substantial part of it has been rebuilt.

However, there are still a few temples that are damaged or need rebuilding. The money you spend on entry helps the people of Nepal—a very poor country—to restore some of their most beautiful and important temples, preserving a piece of history that is incredibly important to many in this country.

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