Kathmandu's Durbar Square

Kathmandu's Durbar Square was built primarily in the 16th and 17th centuries. Like Nepal's other Durbar Squares, it contains a royal palace (a "durbar") and many temples built in a traditional Newar, pagoda style.

On the southern border of the square lies the Kumari Chowk (House), home to Nepal's "Kumari" – a prepubescent girl chosen as the living incarnation of the Hindu goddess, Taleju. Once the Kumari reaches puberty, another 3-5 year old girl is chosen in her place. In the meantime, the Kumari is worshiped as a living goddess, but leads a cloistered life and emerges only several times a year for religious festivals. Her feet are never allowed to touch the ground.

WARNING: The last two photos in this series show examples of erotic carvings from Jagannath Mandir (Temple). These carvings are similar to those seen on many temples in Nepal. If you do not wish to view material of an erotic or sexual nature, STOP when you see the warning in the pop-up slide show. You will not have missed anything else.

Other Durbar Squares in Nepal: Bhaktapur and Patan