Narayanhiti: The Palace Museum

24, Nov 2020 |

Before the monarchy ended, it was the palace of royals and now is a museum open to the public.


Nepal is also known for a kingdom with a very long history of Royals. Starting from the unification of Nepal to the end of the monarchy, there are a lot of facts, stories, fascinating takeaways, and patriotic motivations if we look into the past. And these particulars do not limit themselves in words. Our royal ancestors have left their part of memento in various forms, many of them mostly found in museums.

Narayanhiti is one of those particulars, as before the monarchy ended, it was the palace of royals. And now it has been turned into a museum, opening it to the public. It has opened its doors to commoners where now everyone can take a glance into the palace and see how royals lived under a great roof, while many also visit it to study and look over the remains of the Nepalese Royal Massacre that occurred on June 1, 2001.

The name ‘Narayanhiti’ translates to ‘the home of Hindu God Bishnu’. Built by King Mahendra in 1963, the last king to reside there was King Gyanendra, who vacated the palace on June 11, 2008. It is built over 3794m2 floor space and divided into three parts, the guest wing, the state wing, and the private wing.


Captivating Details of Narayanhiti Palace Museum

· Rooms as 75 districts

The interior of the palace is based on the Late Victorian style. The three parts have 52 rooms in total. Nepal had 75 districts back then, and all the rooms, called Sadan, were named after the 75 districts. And, the main doors are named after the mountains of Nepal like, the front door is named after Gauri Shankar Mountain. There also are doors named Sagarmatha (Mount Everest), Mount Annapurna, Ganesh Himal, etc.

· The reception hall

Named after the Kaski district, as Kaski Sadan, there is the reception hall on entering from the Gaurishankar Gate. The lobby has an extraordinary decoration of two taxidermy Bengal tigers hunted by King Mahendra and King Birendra. The government official gatherings and oath ceremony of Prime Ministers and heads of constitutional bodies were performed in this hall for the Kingdom of Nepal.

· The throne room

Directly above the Kaski Baithak is the Gorkha Bhaithak, the position of authority room. Built in a Hindu Temple architecture, this Sadan has 48 feet Chandelier hanging on a 60 feet high Pagoda style ceiling with four concrete columns around representing Naga. Under the high roof is the Throne of the Kingdom of Nepal. This honorable room was where the royals gave the proclamation on special occasions. Also, on the right is the Dolpa Sadan, where uninvited guests could be seated to view the Gorkha Bhaithak proceedings through a one-way viewing mirror.

· Nepalese Royal Massacre Remains

The remains of the Nepalese Royal Massacre that happened on June 1, 2001, are still evident in the premises of the palace. Many visitors even come here to acknowledge the bullet marks that hit members of the Royal Family. It was suspicious that many parts of the buildings inside were modified shortly after the massacre to overshadow evidence. Thus, the historical incident remains a mystery until now.


The Narayanhiti Palace Museum is situated in the north-central part of Kathmandu beside the Thamel area, east of Garden of Dreams.

One can directly view the Narayanhiti Durbar right in front while standing on the Durbarmarg (King's Way), which is a road with hotels, shopping malls, restaurants, and many more.


Museums in Nepal

The National Museum of Nepal

Must-Visit Museums in Kathmandu

Top 5 Features of Thamel

Garden of Dreams

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