Grandeur of Narayanhity Royal Palace

The magnificent Narayanhity Royal Palace in Kathmandu, Nepal, is the home of the Nepali royal family. The palace takes its name from a renowned historic waterspout that is situated in the southern corner of the palace grounds. The immense palace compound is surrounded by high walls and carefully guarded by soldiers. Tourists can visit the Narayanhity Royal Palace compound by special permission on Thursdays between 13:00 and 15:00, but even from the outside the palace is an impressive sight.

Some parts of the Narayanhity Royal Palace are more than 200 years old. In the late 18th century, the Shah Kings moved from their old palace to the Narayanhity Royal Palace, which was constructed in honor of the victory of the Shahs over the Ranas. The abandoned palace still stands near Durbar Square. There have been various additions to the Narayanhity Royal Palace since it was first built, and the palace as it now stands was inaugurated on the occasion of His Majesty King Birendra Bir Bikram Shahdev’s wedding in 1970.

Sadly, it was a tragic event that brought the Narayanhity Royal Palace to the attention of the world. On 1 June 2001 King Birendra Bir Bikram Shah and Queen Aishwarya were murdered along with six other members of their family. Although there is no clear picture of what actually happened that night or what the motive for the murder was, the most commonly held belief is that Crown Prince Dipendra was responsible for the massacre, apparently because he took exception to the fact that his family did not approve of the woman he wanted to marry. The Crown Prince later died from wounds sustained during the incident.

The King in Nepal is viewed as a reincarnation of Lord Vishnu and therefore a living god and the King’s untimely death was a huge blow to the people of Nepal. The younger brother of late King Birendra, His Majesty King Gyanendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev acceded to the throne on 4 June 2001 and currently rules Nepal. After a period of thirteen months since the tragedy, in July 2002, King Gyanendra, together with his wife and only daughter, took up residence at the Narayanhity Royal Palace.

Visitors to the fascinating city of Kathmandu in Nepal should incorporate a visit to the Narayanhity Royal Palace – the home of the highly respected Nepali royal family.