Basantapur Durbar Square is a UNESCO World Heritage site located in the heart of Kathmandu, Nepal. It is a complex of palaces, temples, and courtyards that date back to the 12th century. Basantapur Durbar Square is also known as Hanuman Dhoka Durbar Square, named after the statue of Hanuman (the Hindu monkey god) that stands at the entrance of the palace complex. It is a popular tourist destination that attracts thousands of visitors every year. If you are planning to visit Basantapur Durbar Square, there are many things to see and do in the area. In this article, we will explore some of the best things to do near Basantapur Durbar Square.
Top activities and attractions to explore near Basantapur Durbar Square
Exploring the Temples and Palaces of Basantapur Durbar Square
Basantapur Durbar Square is home to many temples and palaces that reflect the rich cultural heritage of Nepal. The most famous temples in the square include the Taleju Temple, Kumari Ghar, and Kasthamandap. The Taleju Temple is a three-story temple that dates back to the 15th century. It is a beautiful temple that is dedicated to the goddess Taleju Bhawani. The Kumari Ghar is another popular temple that is located in the square. It is a three-story brick building that is home to the Living Goddess of Nepal, Kumari. Visitors can catch a glimpse of Kumari through a window on the second floor of the building. Kasthamandap is another significant structure in Basantapur Durbar Square. It is a three-story temple that was built from the wood of a single tree. The temple is said to have been built in the 12th century by King Laxmi Narasimha Malla.
In addition to the temples, Basantapur Durbar Square is home to several palaces that were once the residences of the kings of Nepal. The most famous palace in the square is the Hanuman Dhoka Palace. It is a sprawling palace that was built in the 17th century by King Pratap Malla. The palace complex consists of many buildings, including the Nasal Chowk, Mul Chowk, and Sundari Chowk. The Nasal Chowk is a courtyard that is famous for its beautiful carvings and intricate design. The Mul Chowk is another courtyard that is home to the statue of Hanuman. The Sundari Chowk is the oldest courtyard in the palace complex and is known for its beautiful architecture.
Shopping in the Markets of Basantapur Durbar Square
Basantapur Durbar Square is home to many markets that sell a variety of goods. The most popular market in the square is the Asan Bazaar. It is a bustling market that is famous for its spices, textiles, and handicrafts. Visitors can find a wide range of goods in the market, including jewelry, pottery, and traditional Nepali clothing. The market is also home to many street food vendors that sell delicious Nepali snacks and meals.
Another popular market in Basantapur Durbar Square is the Indra Chowk market. It is a traditional market that is famous for its bronze and brass items. Visitors can find many unique items in the market, including prayer wheels, bells, and statues of Hindu gods and goddesses. The market is also a great place to buy traditional Nepali clothing, including saris, kurtas, and shawls.
Visiting the Museums in Basantapur Durbar Square
Basantapur Durbar Square is home to many museums that showcase the rich cultural heritage of Nepal. The most famous museum in the square is the Hanuman Dhoka Museum. It is located inside the Hanuman Dhoka Palace complex and is home to a large collection of artifacts that date back to the 17th century. The museum has many exhibits, including a collection of weapons, coins, and musical instruments. Visitors can also see the throne of the kings of Nepal and the royal crown that was worn by the kings during their coronation.
Another popular museum in Basantapur Durbar Square is the National Art Gallery. It is located inside the Bhimsen Tower and is home to many beautiful artworks that reflect the culture and history of Nepal. The gallery has many exhibits, including traditional paintings, sculptures, and textiles. Visitors can also see a collection of bronze and copper statues that date back to the 8th century.
Enjoying Traditional Nepali Food and Drink
No trip to Basantapur Durbar Square is complete without sampling some of the delicious Nepali food and drink that is available in the area. There are many restaurants and cafes that offer traditional Nepali cuisine, including momos (dumplings), dal bhat (lentil soup with rice), and chow mein (stir-fried noodles). Visitors can also enjoy traditional Nepali snacks like samosas, pakoras, and chana chat.
Nepal is famous for its tea, and there are many tea shops in Basantapur Durbar Square that offer a variety of teas. Visitors can enjoy a cup of traditional masala tea or try some of the famous Nepali teas like butter tea and yak milk tea. For those who prefer coffee, there are many cafes in the area that offer a range of coffee drinks, including cappuccinos and lattes.
Attending Festivals and Events
Basantapur Durbar Square is a popular venue for many festivals and events that take place throughout the year. One of the most famous events in the square is the Indra Jatra festival. It is a week-long festival that is held in September and is dedicated to the god Indra. The festival is marked by colorful processions, traditional dances, and musical performances.
Another popular festival in Basantapur Durbar Square is the Gai Jatra festival. It is a festival that is held in August and is dedicated to the Hindu god of death, Yamaraj. The festival is marked by processions of people dressed in cow costumes, which are believed to help the souls of the dead reach heaven.
Basantapur Durbar Square is a must-visit destination for anyone who wants to experience the rich cultural heritage of Nepal. It is a complex of palaces, temples, and museums that offer a glimpse into the history and culture of Nepal. Visitors can explore the temples and palaces, shop in the markets, enjoy traditional Nepali food and drink, and attend festivals and events. Whether you are a history buff, a foodie, or a culture lover, Basantapur Durbar Square has something for everyone.