Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Kathmandu Durbar Square

By Chhanya Nidal

Reflecting society, social need, and cultural value
By Durbar Square we understand the plazas and the areas near the old royal palaces in Nepal. This is defined by its architectural elements like temples, idols, courtyards, water fountain, dabalis (raised platform) and more. The three famous durbar squares in Nepal are Kathmandu Durbar Square, Patan Durbar Square and Bhaktapur Durbar Square and all these squares have been declared as UNESCO World Heritage Site. These square are the fine example of the life and style of the ancient kingdom of Nepal.

Kathmandu Durbar Square lies in the heart of Kathmandu City and it is surrounded with spectacular architecture which reflects the skills of the Newar craftsmen and art. All the carvings and architecture of this area are exceptionally fine and one of the important sight for travelers to see. We can see the ancient temples, palaces, courtyards and streets. This square is divided in two parts as outer complex and inner complex. The outer complex has famous temples namely Taleju Temple, Jagannath Temple, Shiv-Parvati Temple, Big Bell and Kumari Bahal however the inner complex has old palace, courtyards, Basantapur Durbar, Hanuman Dhoka and other structures.

The square is a multifunctional urban space where people come to discuss politics, meet with friends as well as buy items for the street shops and market. On various public events, the stepped plinths of the temple is used as siting space while the raised platforms are used for public performance. This square is very lively where one can see a lots of commercial activities, religious ceremonies and all sorts of things going on.

The square is known to be the social, religious and urban focal point of the Capital City which shows the social interactive nature of Newar population. These spaces and the streets are used for different street festivals, Jatras and other festivals. This is one of best place to enjoy and better know about Kathmandu, the Nepalese architecture, Newari community, their culture, and traditions.

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