on March 14, 2013
Durbar Square, a World Heritage Site, is a complex of temples and shrines dedicated to both the Hindus and the Buddhist. Most were built between the 12th & 18th centuries. Until this century it was used as a kings palace and is now an open living museum. The wood work on the buildings are intricate and detailed...all done by hand. The square is filled with thousands of birds. One building called Kumari-ghar was built in 1757 and is home to the "Kumari" or Living Goddess. A girl is picked at a young age to be the princess. They find her by looking for a girl that qualifies by a point system to be perfect. When she is picked, she moves into this building and never leaves until she either reaches puberty or bleeds by a cut. She has the whole third floor of the building to live and has people tutoring her. Other children can come to visit and she can play with them and have family visits. She will come to the open air windows to great people each day. The current princess has been there since the age of three and she is now nine. Soon she will have to leave and she will be replaced with another girl. The Kumari is allowed to carry on a normal life after she leaves.Among the many temples and shrines, Gaddi Baithak is a white neoclassical section of a palace built in 1908 by Chandra Shamsher during the reign of Prihvi Bir Bikram Shah. The palace is adjacent to a large square filled with vendors selling much sought after "singing bowls," gurka knives, goat and tiger games and just about anything else you may be looking for. The whole of Durbar Square is actually made up of two areas. The outer area is known for numerous temples such as Shiv-Parbati Temple or the Kasthmandap. The inner complex contains the old palace area and other temples. The Taleju Temple is the most famous and is dedicated to female royal deity.Hours can be spent visiting the temples and sites of Durbar Square and there is a small fee to enter the area.
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