Durbar Square Tour in Kathmandu, Kathmandu (Self Guided)

Kathmandu is the capital of Nepal and the largest city in the country. It has a rich, nearly 2000 years old, history. Durbar Square translates into English as "Court Square". The Durbar Square of Kathmandu is located in the old city and is home to over 50 temples. Check out some of the most popular temples of Kathmandu on this self-guided tour.
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Durbar Square Tour in Kathmandu Map

Guide Name: Durbar Square Tour in Kathmandu
Guide Location: Nepal » Kathmandu (See other walking tours in Kathmandu)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 8
Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 0.5 km
Author: helenp
Kumari Ghar (Kumari Bahal)

1) Kumari Ghar (Kumari Bahal) (must see)

Kumari Ghar is a palace in the center of the Kathmandu city, next to the Durbar square where a Royal Kumari is selected from among several Kumaris. Kumari, or Kumari Devi, is the tradition of worshiping young pre-pubescent girls as manifestations of the divine female energy or devi in South Asian countries. In Nepal the selection process for her is very rigorous. Kumari is believed to be the bodily incarnation of the goddess Taleju (the Nepalese name for Durga) until she menstruates, after which it is believed that the goddess vacates her body. Serious illness or a major loss of blood from an injury are also causes for her to revert to common status. The current Royal Kumari, Matina Shakya, aged four, was installed in October 2008 by the Maoist government that replaced the monarchy. "(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Kumari Ghar (Bahal) was built in the year 1757 by the King Jaya Prakash Malla. It was named after Kumari goddess that is well known as an incarnation of Taleju goddess. The Kumari Bahal is a three-storied quadrangle lavishly decorated with fine woodcarving. It is the place where throngs of people make a beeline to get the glimpse of Kumari and get her divine blessings.
Kasthamandap Temple

2) Kasthamandap Temple (must see)

Kasthamandap is a three storied temple enshrining the deity of Goraknath - (Sanskrit for Gau+Raksha+Nath: Cow+Protect+Lord, ie, The Lord who protects cows) - a form of the god Shiva. It was built in the 16th century in a Pagoda style. It is said to be one of the oldest wooden buildings in the world. The name of Kathmandu is a derivative of the Kasthamandap. It was built under the reign of King Laxmi Narsingha Malla and an interesting legend is attached to its wooden construction. The story narrated is about Gorakhnath, a disciple of Machindranath (Nepal Bhasa: Janamaadya). Gorakhnath was spotted by a tantrik in human form, during the chariot procession of his guru Machhindranath (Nepal Bhasa: Janamaadya). The tantrik held him under a spell and sought his help. Once the boon was bestowed, a huge tree started growing at the location where the present temple exists. With the wood of this single tree, the tantrik built the Kasthamandap temple.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
Mahadev Parvati Temple

3) Mahadev Parvati Temple

Shiva-Parvati Temple is situated in the outer quadrangle of the Durbar square in Kathmandu, along with Kasthamandap and Kumari Ghar. This is one of the many Hindu temples in Kathmandu dedicated to Shiva and Parvati. Shiva, the god of destruction and rejuvenation, is a major Hindu deity. Parvati, the second consort of Shiva, is considered to be the supreme Goddess. When this couple is depicted together they both have benevolent forms.
Jagganath Temple

4) Jagganath Temple

Jagannath Temple is the oldest building in this part of the Durbar Square, in Kathmandu. Jagannath Temple is widely known for the erotic embellishments carved on the roof struts. King Pratap Malla is declared to have built this temple during his reign, but the temple could also have been built by king Mahendra in 1563. The temple has two floors, a three-tiered platform and three doors, but just one of them opens.
Hanumandhoka Palace

5) Hanumandhoka Palace (must see)

Hanuman Dhoka is a complex of structures with the Royal Palace of the Malla kings and also of the Shah dynasty in the Durbar Square of central Kathmandu, Nepal. It is spread over five acres. The eastern wing with ten courtyards is the oldest part dated to the mid 16th century. It was expanded by King Pratap Malla in the 17th century with many temples. Sundari Chowk and Mohan Chowk in the north part of the palace are both closed. In 1768, in the southeast part of the palace, four lookout towers were added by Prithvi Narayan Shah. The royal family lived in this palace till 1886, where after they shifted to Narayanhiti Palace. The stone inscription outside is in fifteen languages and legend states that if all the 15 are read milk would spring from the middle of stone tablet.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
Degu Taleju Temple

6) Degu Taleju Temple (must see)

Degu Taleju Temple is another triple roofed temple built by Shiva Singh Malla that is also dedicated to Taleju. Mul Chowk, dedicated to Taleju Bhawani, is a courtyard with two-storied buildings all round that are exclusive places for religious rites. Taleju Bhawani is the tutelary goddess of the Malla family. Taleju Temple with a golden torana (ceremonial door) is located to the south side of the courtyard. During the Dasain festival, the idol of Taleju is shifted to this temple. The entrance to the temple is flanked with images of the river goddesses Ganga and Yamuna.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
Kakeshwar Temple

7) Kakeshwar Temple

Kakeshwar Temple was built in 1681. However, after the 1934 earthquake, the temple was seriously damaged and had to be reconstructed. The pitch of this temple is the unusual mix of architectural styles - Newari style for the foundation, Indian shikhara style for the upper floors , kalasa(water vase) like spire on top of the temple. Unfortunately, after the reconstruction, the building was partially altered.
Tana Deval Temple

8) Tana Deval Temple

Tana Deval Temple is situated in front of the popular Taleju Temple. It is surrounded by a wall that separates the Tana Deval Temple from the Durbar Square. In the courtyard, past large rows of stalls, you can see the sacred building. It has multiple doorways and struts on which the Mother Goddesses - Ashta Matrikas – are carved. Also, in the court you have the possibility to purchase brightly-colored Tibetan thangkas.

Walking Tours in Kathmandu, Nepal

Create Your Own Walk in Kathmandu

Create Your Own Walk in Kathmandu

Creating your own self-guided walk in Kathmandu is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
City Orientation Walk

City Orientation Walk

Kathmandu is the capital and the largest metropolitan city of Nepal. The city is located in Kathmandu Scoop. It is considered to be among the most beautiful urban locations in the world. The city is encompassed by four picturesque mountains. Kathmandu also attracts a lot of visitors by its original market places, unique architecture and beautiful green spaces. Here is a list of top attractions in...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.9 km
Tundikhel Self-Guided Tour in Kathmandu

Tundikhel Self-Guided Tour in Kathmandu

Tundikhel is one of the hidden treasures of Kathmandu. On this huge green field colorful festivals are held frequently. If you are not fond of festivals, you may explore important landmarks that are situated nearby - Bhimsen Stambha, complimented by the Sundhara fountains, Sahid gate, Bhadrakali Temple, etc. Take this self-guided tour to discover the prominent attractions of Tundikhel in...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.0 km
Kathmandu's Street Markets Tour

Kathmandu's Street Markets Tour

Kathmandu is a true heaven for shoppers, especially for the ones who are ready to explore street markets. In this city, markets are the place where you can buy quality products without wasting all your money - Monk's robes, soft silks, woolen garments, artifacts, etc. The list is truly endless. Unfortunately, in Kathmandu you are not allowed to buy authentic antiques, but you can purchase...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.1 km
Nightlife in Kathmandu Self-Guided Tour

Nightlife in Kathmandu Self-Guided Tour

The clubs and discos in Kathmandu are concentrated in the Thamel distict, on Thamel street. Though, in the last few years, new entertainment places opened around Pulchowk in Patan, a nearby city, Thamel still remains a fun place to spend the night. Legally, all music has to be turned off by 10 PM, but many clubs manage to stay open until 12 PM or later. Take this self-guided tour to discover the...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 0.4 km
Kathmandu's Daily Life Tour

Kathmandu's Daily Life Tour

Kathmandu is an exotic destination with a rich history and culture, but underneath all this is a busy Nepalese life. If you want to understand how a local inhabitant lives, we encourage you to take this "Daily Life" self-guided tour of Kathmandu.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.9 km
Pashupatinath Temple in Kathmandu Self-Guided Tour

Pashupatinath Temple in Kathmandu Self-Guided Tour

Pashupatinath Temple is situated near the Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmnadu. The area in which it is located is truly picturesque - surrounded by virgin jungle. Though you may not be allowed to enter Pashupatinath, you can admire it from the other bank of the river, or you can visit some famous temples situated in this region. We encourage you to take the Pashupatinath temple...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.0 km

Tips for Exploring City on Foot at Your Own Pace

Whether you are in Kathmandu for a quick stopover or have a few days to see the city in more detail, exploring it on foot, at your own pace, is definitely the way to go. Here are some tips for you to save money, see the best Kathmandu has to offer, take good care of your feet while walking, and keep your mobile device – your ultimate "work horse" on this trip - well fed and safe.

Taking Care of Your Feet

To ensure ultimate satisfaction from a day of walking around the city as big as Kathmandu, it is imperative to take good care of your feet so as to avoid unpleasant things like blisters, cold or overheated soles, itchy, irritated or otherwise damaged (cracked) skin, etc. Luckily, these days there is no shortage of remedies to address (and, ideally, to prevent) these and other potential problems with feet. Among them: Compression Socks, Rechargeable Battery-Powered Thermo Socks for Cold Weather, Foot Repair Cream, Deodorant Powder, Shoes UV Sterilizer, and many more that you may wish to find a place in your travel kit for.

Travel Gadgets for Your Mobile Device

Your mobile phone or tablet will be your work horse on a self-guided walk. They offer tour map, guide you from one attraction to another, and provide informative background for the sights you wish to visit. Therefore it is absolutely essential to plan against unexpected power outages in the wrong place at the wrong time, much as to ensure the safety of your device.

For these and other contingencies, here's the list of useful appliances: Portable Charger/External Battery Pack, Worldwide Travel Charger Adapter, Power Converter for International Travel Adapter, and Mobile Device Leash.