Government of Nepal

Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation

Hanumandhoka Durbar Museum

Hanumandhoka, Kathmandu, Nepal

History

The old centre of the city the Hanumandhoka was a Royal Palace since a beginning, which located at the heart of the city. This centrally located Palace has been became special important for ancient ruler ever since the Licchavi Period. The area around the present site of the Hanumandhoka was called "Koligrama" or "Dakshin Rajkula". The earlier name of the Palace was known as "Kantipur" city of light or beautiful city during the early medieval period.

Ratna Malla (1482 AD) was the first king of independent Kathmandu, who is the second son of Yaksha Mall, who powerfully ruled over in great "Bhatgaon". However, the Bhasa Vanshavali credit for the founding of the Kathmandu to king Gunkamdeva. The Hanumandhoka area contains the divers monuments having outstanding courtyard surrounded by Royal Palace, temples, waterspouts, gardens etc. with full or open spaces. The Palace complex is surrounded by numerous temples of Pagoda, Sikharas and Dome architectural styles. The palace is rich in both tangible and intangible cultural diversity and has a outstanding historical, archaeological and religious value. So, it was enlisted as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site in 1979. Unique festivals, rituals, sculptures, courtyards, temples etc. are aspects of living culture and national pride of the country. The palace named Hanumandhoka when profound art lover Pratap Malla installed an icon of Hanuman in front of the main gate in 1672 A.D.

 With span of centuries the present Hanumandhoka Palace complex and others monuments were built between the 15th century to 20th century. Every king from Ratna Malla to Prithivi Bir Bikram Shah added to the palace or at least repaired or renovated some parts of it, but the most important contribution were those of Mahendra Malla, Pratap Malla and Prithivi Narayan Shah. Mahendra Malla who minted the coins, few changes were made to the Palace and built Kotilingeshvar, Jagannath, Taleju and Mahendreshvar temples which still stands today. Pratap Malla built many monuments such as image of Hanuman, Kalvairab, Swaitvairab and famous Sundari Chowk and Mohankali Chowk. King Prithivi Narayan Shah built Basantapur Nine Storied Palace in this complex. They are the unique creation of Malla and Shah Dynasties. Representing as a open air museum here are more than ten courtyards. Four courtyards have been already opened for general public. Now three memorial museum galleries and many sections have been exihibited with basic amenities to the general public as well as tourists.

 

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