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Kathmandu Durbar Square

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Kathmandu Durbar Square in Kathmandu is the most extensive of the three royal palace square, not only in size but also in the scale of its open space and structures. It contains 60 important monuments, of which the majority date from the 17th and 18th centuries. King Mahendra Mall of the 16th century, Pratap Malla of the 17th century added to the architectural splendor of this Durbar Square. King Mahendra Malla (1560-74 A.D) constructed numerous temples in the palace complex and in its vicinity. Prominent among them are the temple of Mahendreshwar Mahadev, the Jaganath Temple and the grand Taleju Bhavani Temple. The magnificent Taleju Temple was built in 1563. One of the tallest and largest temples in the country, towering more than 40meters, it is built atop a plinth of brick platform. Nearby, the Jagannath Temple, built in the 16th century, is known for the fascinating erotic carvings of human sexual union on the wooden struts. The Hanuman Dhoka Durbar monument zone encompasses marvelous edifices built by King Pratap Malla (1641-74 A.D). These include the Krishna Temple, Kabindrapur, Indrapur Temple, Panchamukhi Hanuman Temple of Nasal Chowk, and a stone statue of Hanuman, the bravest of the brave monkey-god in the epic Ramayana, in front of his palace to drive away evil spirits and be victorious in wars. This palace later came to be known as the Hanuman Dhoka Durbar, of the palace guarded by God Hanuman. After the conquest of the valley by King Pritvi Narayan Shah of Gorkha in 1769, he expanded the palace. Two very impressive architectural structures, the nine-storeyed Basantapur and Vilas Mandir, were built during his reign. All the four towers of this palace are considered remarkable pieces of Nepalese architecture. This palace square is surrounded by many important monuments, such as the resident temple of the Living Goddess Kumari; the Kastha Mandap, or Maru Sattal, which is the largest open rest house and a landmark of Kathmandu from which the city derives its name; Simha Sattal; and the Maju Dewal which is the tallest temple in the periphery. Anyone who visits this palace complex cannot but be overwhelmed by its grandeur and the architectural heritage which it represents.

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