Today morning we went to Narayanhiti Palace which has been converted to Narayanhiti Palace Museum in 2008. It is located in Kathmandu, which served as the residence and principal workplace of the reigning monarch of the kingdom of Nepal. The palace complex is located in the Kaiser Mahal next to Thamel and is unified in an impressive courtyards, gardens, and rooms. We started around 9.30 am to witness various tourist places in Kathmandu.
During the first Shah period, the location of the longer-term Narayanhiti Palace was occupied by the family of Shreepali Basnet (Kaji Dhokal Singh Basnet house).
In 1963, King Mahendra ordered the demolition of the old palace and building of a new palace. The new palace was inbuilt Nepalese architecture style under the planning of Californian architect Benjamin Polk, who operated out of India at the time.
The Palace is divided into three parts, the guest wing, the state wing, and the private wing. Narayanhiti Palace has 52 rooms called Sadan and is named after 75 Districts of Nepal. The interior of the palace is predicated on the Late Victorian style.
It was in Narayanhiti palace where the incident of the 2001 Nepalese Royal Massacre took place. After the 2006 revolution collapsed the monarchy, the newly elected assembly acknowledged Nepal as a republic country, and King Gyanendra was forced to vacate the palace within 15 days. The royal palace now becomes a public museum. The crown jewels are considered to be among the foremost precious and valuable objects in Nepal.
The Nepalese royal massacre happened on 1 June 2001, at a house on the grounds of the Narayanhity Royal Palace, the house of the Nepalese monarchy. Twelve members of the royalty were killed during a mass shooting during a celebration or monthly reunion dinner of the royalty within the house. The dead included King Birendra of Nepal and Queen Aishwarya. A government-appointed inquiry team named Crown Prince Dipendra as the culprit of the massacre. Dipendra slipped into a coma after shooting himself.
Later, upon his father’s death, Dipendra was acknowledged King of Nepal while in a coma. He died in the hospital three days after the massacre without retrieval consciousness. Birendra’s brother, Gyanendra, became king after the death of his nephew King Dipendra.
His motive for the murders is unknown, but there are various theories. Dipendra desired to marry Devyani Rana, whom he had met within the United Kingdom. Some claim that, due to her mother’s family being lower-class royals of India and her father’s political alliances, Dipendra’s parents protested. In fact, Devyani Rana’s Gwalior family is one among the wealthiest former royal families of India, and allegedly far wealthier than the Shahs of Nepal.
Another theory states that there was a higher possibility of Indian influence if he would be married to her, to which the palace protested.
Much controversy surrounds the conditions of the massacre, and even today, with the monarchy abolished, many questions remain within Nepal about its cause. Then we proceed to Kathmandu Durbar Square.
Kathmandu Durbar Square
Kathmandu Durbar Square is before of the old royal palace of the former Kathmandu Kingdom is one among 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 because of a serious earthquake on 25 April 2015. Durbar Square was surrounded with remarkable architecture and intensely showcases the skills of the Newar artists and craftsmen over several centuries.
The Kathmandu Durbar Square held the palaces of the Malla and Shah Kings who ruled over the town. Along with these palaces, the square surrounds quadrangles, revealing courtyards and temples. It is referred to as Hanuman Dhoka Durbar Square, a reputation derived from a statue of Hanuman, the monkey devotee of Lord Ram, at the doorway of the palace.
The oldest temples within the square are those built by Mahendra Malla.
They are the temples of Jagannath, Kotilingeswara Mahadev, Mahendreswara, and therefore the Taleju Temple. The three-roofed Taleju Temple was established in 1564, in a typical Newari architectural style and is raised on platforms that form a pyramid-like structure.
At the southern end of the square, near Kasthamandap at Maru, which was the most city crossroads for early traders, he built another pavilion named Kavindrapura, the mansion of the king of poets. In this mansion, he set an idol of dancing Shiva, Nasadyo, which is worshiped by dancers in the Valley.
In the process of beautifying his palace, he added fountains, ponds, and baths. In Sundari Chok, he established a golden fountain. Many people donating coins there in the fountain. He built a little pond, the Naga Pokhari, in the palace adorned with Nagakastha, a wooden serpent, which is claimed he had ordered stolen from the royal pond in the Bhaktapur Durbar Square. He restored the Licchavi stone sculptures like the Jalasayana Narayana, the Kaliyadamana, and the Kala Bhairav. An idol of Jalasayana Narayana was located in a newly created pond in the Bhandarkhal garden in the eastern wing of the palace.
Jayaprakash Malla, the last Malla king of Kathmandu, built a temple for Kumari and Durga in her virginal state. The temple was named Kumari Bahal and was structured sort of a typical Newari vihara. In his house resides the Kumari, a girl who is respected as the living goddess then we went to Budhanilkantha Temple.
Budhanilkantha Temple, located in Budhanilkantha, Nepal, is a Hindu outdoors temple dedicated to an outsized resting statue of Lord Vishnu. The temple’s main statue of Budhanilkantha is taken into account the most important stone carving in Nepal.
The main statue is a black stone structure carved from one block of black basalt. It portrays the deity resting on the coils of the cosmic serpent Shesha. He holds the Sudarshana Chakra, Club, a Conch Shell, and a gem in his four hands. Then we went to Swayambhunath.
Swayambhu is an ancient religious architecture on a hill in the Kathmandu Valley, west of Kathmandu city. For the Buddhist Newars, in whose mythological history and origin myth also as day-to-day religious practice Swayambhunath lodges a central position. It’s probably the foremost sacred among Buddhist pilgrimage sites. For Tibetans and followers of Tibetan Buddhism, it is second only to Boudhanath.
The complex consists of a stupa, a spread of shrines and temples, some dating back to the Licchavi period. A Tibetan monastery, museum, and library are newer additions. The stupa has Buddha’s eyes and eyebrows painted on. Between them, the amount one (in Devanagari script) is painted in the fashion of a nose. There are also shops, restaurants, and hostels.
The site has two access points: an extended staircase leading on to the most platform of the temple, which is from the highest of the Hill to the east; and a car road around the hill from the south resulting in the south-west entrance.
We were breathless and sweating as we stumbled up the last steep steps and practically received the most important vajra (thunderbolt scepter) that I even have ever seen. Behind this Vajra was the vast, round, white dome of the stupa, sort of a full solid skirt, at the highest of which were two giant Buddha eyes wisely looking out over the peaceful valley which was just starting to wake up.