Durbar Square

Kathmandu, Nepal

Submitted by: Steve Meyer

This holy place is a lively and diverse square in the heart of Kathmandu's old city.

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Why It Works

There is so much going on there, a living deity, other statues, wedding parades, holy men, people cutting hair, people typing letters, animals, things to buy from vendor who may only have a mat from which to sell, unusual conveyances (pedi-cabs, carts, etc); you can just sit there in the middle of the square and it's like watching a coral reef, there is that much diversity. You can watch it for hours.

What Makes Durbar Square a Great Place?

It is very pedestrian oriented, sometimes a vehicle will come plowing through and honking its horn. There are a number of roads leading to it, and it seems to be the hub of activity.

It made a great first impression on me. Not much seating except for steps and the ground. It seemed pretty clean considering that it was crowded. I felt safe, I didn't see any security. Vehicles were rare except for the pedestrian-friendly pedi-cabs.

People regularly use the place, there is a huge range of activities. Like I said, there is even a girl goddess who lives nearby!

There were a number of tourists there, but even they were usually interesting people to talk to. There were a lot of different vendors and they are always interesting. The people there are very friendly and tolerant of the tourists. Other streets in Kathmandu were much more oriented toward the tourist shoppers than Durbar Square.

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