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Hanuman Dhoka, Kathmandu

Hanuman Dhoka

Hanuman Dhoka, Kathmandu


Hanuman Dhoka is a historic palace complex located in the heart of Kathmandu Durbar Square. It served as the royal palace for the Malla kings and later for the Shah dynasty until the late 19th century. The name "Hanuman Dhoka" derives from the statue of Hanuman, the monkey god, at the entrance of the palace. The complex encompasses several buildings, courtyards, and temples, showcasing traditional Newar architecture and craftsmanship. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a significant cultural and historical landmark in Kathmandu.

Key Attractions

  1. Hanuman Statue: The statue of Hanuman at the main entrance, placed there by King Pratap Malla in 1672, is believed to protect the palace.
  2. Nasal Chowk: The main courtyard of the palace complex, used for coronation ceremonies and other royal events. It features intricate wood carvings and traditional Newar architecture.
  3. Tribhuvan Museum: Located within the palace complex, this museum displays artifacts, photographs, and memorabilia related to King Tribhuvan and the Shah dynasty.
  4. King Mahendra Memorial Museum: Dedicated to King Mahendra, this museum showcases his personal belongings, photographs, and historical documents.
  5. Mul Chowk: One of the oldest courtyards in the complex, housing important temples and shrines, including the Taleju Temple, which is accessible only to Hindus.
  6. Basantapur Tower: Offering panoramic views of Kathmandu, this tower is part of the palace complex and provides insight into the architectural grandeur of the Malla period.
  7. Sundari Chowk: Known for its exquisite woodwork and the stunning Sundari Chowk courtyard with a sunken water tank.

Best Time to Visit

  • Spring (March to May): This is one of the best times to visit Kathmandu, with pleasant weather and blooming flowers enhancing the beauty of the area.
  • Autumn (September to November): Another ideal time to visit, with moderate temperatures, clear skies, and vibrant festivals such as Dashain and Tihar.
  • Weekdays: Visiting on weekdays can be less crowded compared to weekends, offering a more relaxed experience.
  • Morning or Late Afternoon: The early morning or late afternoon provides the best lighting for photography and more comfortable temperatures for exploring the complex.

Tips for Visitors

  • Admission Fee: There is an admission fee to enter Hanuman Dhoka Palace and the museums. Check the current rates and any available discounts on the official website or at the entrance.
  • Guided Tours: Consider hiring a local guide or joining a guided tour to gain deeper insights into the history, architecture, and cultural significance of the complex. Guides are often available at the entrance.
  • Photography: The palace complex offers numerous photo opportunities. Be respectful of the local customs and ask for permission if taking photos of people or inside temples.
  • Dress Modestly: As a historical and cultural site, visitors should dress modestly out of respect. Avoid wearing shorts, sleeveless tops, or revealing clothing.
  • Stay Hydrated: Bring water, especially if you plan to spend several hours exploring the area. There are also cafes and restaurants nearby where you can take a break.
  • Public Transport: The complex is centrally located in Kathmandu and is easily accessible by public transport. Taxis, rickshaws, and local buses are available from various parts of the city.
  • Walking: Wear comfortable walking shoes, as you will be exploring various buildings, courtyards, and museums on foot.
  • Respect the Site: Be mindful of the historical and cultural significance of the area. Avoid touching or damaging any artifacts and follow any guidelines provided by local authorities.
  • Combine with Nearby Attractions: The complex is close to other major attractions in Kathmandu Durbar Square, such as the Kumari Ghar, Kasthamandap, and various temples, making it easy to plan a full day of activities in the area.

Hanuman Dhoka offers a rich and immersive experience, showcasing the architectural brilliance and cultural heritage of Nepal. Whether you're a history enthusiast, a cultural explorer, or simply curious about Nepalese traditions, the palace complex provides an unforgettable journey through the past.

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