Narayanhiti Palace History

Historical Background

The distinct Nepali style architecture of the palace building and its interior structure are the main attraction of this museum. The Narayanhiti Palace, constructed for both residential and official purposes, is worth a visit.

Narayanhiti Palace Museum is established on the backdrop of the beginning of The Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal. Ten years of people's war and nineteen days of people's movement played decisive role for the major political shift in the country. In line with the political changes, Narayanhiti Royal Palace was converted into a public museum and was inaugurated by the then Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala on 15 June, 2008.

After the marriage of Bir Shumsher's two daughters with King Prithvi Bir Bikram Shah, the royal residence of Shah Kings moved from Hanumandhoka to Narayanhiti. Since then, the successors of the Shah Kings continued to reside in the Narayanhiti palace. However, Narayanhiti palace was partially damaged during the great earthquake in 1934 killing two infant princesses, daughters of King Tribhuvan. Then, Tribhuvan Sadan was constructed as designed by a Nepali architect Surya Jung Thapa with new Portico and Grand Staircase. And it was in this building where the scene of 2001 Royal Massacre took place. Following the royal massacre the building was demolished.

The present structure of the palace was designed by a foreign architect Benjamin Polk. The construction began in 1963 AD and was completed in 1969 AD.

The entire palace complex covers an area of 383850 square meters. The palace buildings have occupied total area of 40,820 square feet. Narayanhiti Palace has 52 rooms called 'baithak' and are named after the districts of Nepal. Likewise, the main entrances of this palace are named after the mountains of Nepal. The palace building includes reception hall, living rooms, private chamber of the royal family, rooms to house the visiting heads of state, dining halls, kitchen, among others. Among them, only 31 rooms are open for public viewing at present.