Durbar Squares, the heart of three medieval towns. Before the unification of Nepal, Nepal was consist of small kingdoms, and Durbar Squares are the most prominent remnants of those old kingdoms. These Durbar Squares belongs to three Newar Kingdoms, Kathmandu Durbar Square, Bhaktapur Durbar Square, and Patan Durbar Square.
All of these Durbar Squares are also part of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, showcases a different form of precise architecture, and presents different historic events. They are consists of temples, courtyards, shrines, idols, and palaces.
Below you will read more in detail about all of the three Durbar Squares:
Kathmandu Durbar Square
Kathmandu Durbar Square is also popularly known as Basantapur Durbar Square and Hanuman Durbar Square. This is one of the main attractions in Kathmandu Valley. This palace consists of a huge Royal Square imposing several temples dedicated to different Hindu gods and goddess. Most of the buildings we see here are built between 15th to the 18th century. The most interesting things to see here are:
Kumari Ghar, the house of the living goddess of Nepal, Kumari. This was built in 1757 by Jaya Prakash Malla. Kumari is a young girl selected to be the living goddess until she reaches her first puberty and reverts to being a normal mortal.
Kasthamandap, the house of wood, is believed to be built from a Single Sal tree. In the beginning, it used to be community hall where local people gathered for important ceremonies and later, it was made Temple of Gorakhnath.
Other things to see here are Hanuman Dhoka, Taleju Temple, Mahendreshvara Temple, Jagannath Temple, Dequtale Temple, Nasal Chowk, Mul Chowk, Bhandarkal, Vilar Temple, Shiva Temple, Manju Deval, Ashok Binayak Shrine, and Simha Sattal.
Bhaktapur Durbar Square
Bhaktapur Durbar Square is also known as the museum of ancient art and architecture. It includes several sculptures, woodcarving, and colossal pagoda temples dedicated to numerous god and goddess. It is a conglomeration of shikhara-style and pagoda temples situated around a fifty-five window palace of brick and wood. The tympanums, lintels, gateways, uprights, wood carvings, windows, and the deities looking out from their sanctuaries to create a perfect symphony for the potes.
The major attractions inside this square are 55 Window Palace. This is the central architectural structure of the square built in the 15th century. Golden Gate, the main entrance to the palace. You will see amazing artistry on the gate. Lions Gate where you will see two wonderful stone statues of Hindu deities installed on its either side. There is a story that tells, the hands of artisans who made this were cut off immediately after he gave a finishing touch to them so that they could not make something like this more.
Mini Pashupati Temple, Vatsala Temple, Bhairav Nath Temple, dedicated to the god Bhairava known for death and terror.
Another famous temple is Nyatapola Temple, which is famous pagoda of Nepal. This is the highest pagoda of Nepal ever built with architectural perfection and artistic beauty. This temple is dedicated to Siddhi Laxmi, the tantric goddess of supreme power and success.
Patan Durbar Square
Patan is the oldest Buddhist City in the world and also known as Lalitpur. Patan is famous for its artistic heritage, and there are 4 stupas at every corner of the city. Patan Durbar Square is consists of three main courtyards, Mul Chowk, Sundari Chowk, and Keshav Narayan Chowk. You will see a masterpiece of stone architecture, the Royal bath called Tushahity in the center of Sundari Chowk.
The major attractions inside the Patan Durbar Square are- the Patan Museum, which includes bronze statues and religious objects. This museum is considered as one of the best museums in Asia.
Hiranya Varna Mahavihar is a three-story golden pagoda of Lokeshwar (Lord Buddha), built in the 12th century by King Bhaskar Verma. This pagoda is also famous as the golden temple.
Mahaboudha Temple is a Shikhar Style temple, as its name says this temple is dedicated to the Lord Buddha. This temple has five golden pinnacles.
Golden Temple is the oldest and richest temple of Buddha. This temple was built in the 12th century known for its beautiful gold works.
Krishna Temple is built in the 17th century and also one of the important temples of this Square. This is also the only temple of Nepal that has 21 shrines and entirely made of stone.