Durbar Square, also known as Basantapur Durbar Kshetra, is in front of the old Royal Palace of the former Kathmandu Kingdom and is one of the three major palace squares in Kathmandu. It is one of the numerous UNESCO World Heritage sites in Nepal. Sadly, the April 25 2015 earthquake did substantial damage to the square and its various monuments and temples; various local and international artists, architects, historians have been given the intricate task of restoring the treasures of the buildings and artifacts.
The historically and culturally rich square with its ancient structures and monuments clearly reflect Newari craftsmanship at its best. The complex is dotted with quadrangles, courtyards and temples.
The Royal Palace which was originally in Dattaraya Square, was moved to Durbar Square. Established in the Lichavi period in the 3rd century, the Palaces in Durbar Square have served as the seat of the monarchy for the Malla Kings when Kathmandu became independent under the rule of King Ratna Malla ( 1484-1520 ). Even King Prithivi Narayan Shah who invaded Kathmandu Valley in 1769 preferred the Palace in Kathmandu Durbar Square and for a certain period Shah Kings ruled from here.
More recently, the coronation of Late King Birendra Bir Bikram Shah ( 1975 ) and King Gyanendra Bir Bikram Shah ( 2001 ) took place in this square.
Durbar Square is also popularly referred to as 'Hanuman Dhoka' ; Hanuman is the monkey devotee of Lord Ram.
A walking distance from the major tourist hubs like Thamel, one can easily walk out from ones hotel or lodge and explore the wonders of the seat of ancient kingdoms of Nepal. The cobbled streets and squares intermingled with interesting tourist attractions offer pleasant and relaxing surroundings.