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Kathmandu Durbar Square Tour (Basantapur Darbar Kshetra) in front of the old royal palace of the former Kathmandu Kingdom is one of three Durbar (royal palace) Squares in the Kathmandu Valley in Nepal, all of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.Several buildings in the Square collapsed due to a major earthquake on 25 April 2015. Durbar Square was surrounded with spectacular architecture and vividly showcases the skills of the Newar artists and craftsmen over several centuries. The Royal Palace was originally at Dattaraya square and was later moved to the Durbar square.The Kathmandu Durbar Square Tour held the palaces of the Malla and Shah kings who ruled over the city. Along with these palaces, the square surrounds quadrangles, revealing courtyards and temples. It is known as Hanuman Dhoka Durbar Square, a name derived from a statue of Hanuman, the monkey devotee of Lord Ram, at the entrance of the palace.
The preference for the construction of Kathmandu Durbar Square Tour site dates back to as early as the Licchavi period in the third century. Even though the present palaces and temples have undergone repeated and extensive renovations and nothing physical remains from that period. Names like Gunapo and Gupo, which are the names referred to the palaces in the square in early scriptures, imply that the palaces were built by Gunakamadev, a King ruling late in the 20th century. When Kathmandu City became independent under the rule of King Ratna Malla , the palaces in the square became the Royal Palaces for its Malla Kings. When Prithvi Narayan Shah invaded the Kathmandu Valley, he favored the Kathmandu Durbar Square for his palace. Other subsequent Shah kings continued to rule from the square until when they moved to the Narayan Hiti Palace.The oldest temples in the square are those built by Mahendra Malla. They are the temples of Jagannath, Kotilingeswara Mahadev, Mahendreswara, and the Taleju Temple.
This three-roofed Taleju Temple was established in 1564, in a typical Newari architectural style and is elevated on platforms that form a pyramid-like structure. It is said that Mahendra Malla, when he was residing in Bhaktapur, was highly devoted to the Taleju Temple there; the Goddess being pleased with his devotion gave him a vision asking him to build a temple for her in the Kathmandu Durbar Square. With a help of a hermit, he designed the temple to give it its present form and the Goddess entered the temple in the form of a bee.
In Kathmandu Durbar Square Tour is the site of the Hanuman Dhoka Palace Complex, which was the royal Nepalese residence until the 19th century and where important ceremonies, such as the coronation of the Nepalese monarch, took place which is the main attraction of our tour. The palace is decorated with elaborately-carved wooden windows and panels and houses the King Tribhuwan Memorial Museum and the Mahendra Museum. It is possible to visit the state rooms inside the palace.Time and again the temples and the palaces in the square have gone through reconstruction after being damaged by natural causes or neglect. Presently there are less than ten quadrangles in the square.
The temples are being preserved as national heritage sites and the palace is being used as a museum. Only a few parts of the palace are open for visitors and the Taleju temples are only open for people of Hindu and Buddhist faiths.At the southern end of Durbar Square is one of the most curious attractions in Nepal, the Kumari Chok. This gilded cage contains the Raj Kumari, a girl chosen through an ancient and mystical selection process to become the human incarnation of the Hindu mother goddess, Durga. She is worshiped during religious festivals and makes public appearances at other times for a fee paid to her guards.