Durbar Marg is literally translated as King’s Way. It is one of the most famous roads in Kathmandu, considered as the expensive face of the capital city. On one end of the road is the Narayanhiti Palace where the royal family of Nepal used to live. The road was actually named for the palace because the king and his family regularly passed this way.
After the monarchy fell and Nepal became a nation, the government took control of the palace and converted it into a museum, thus it is now called the Narayanhiti Palace Museum. It is very distinguished in the city as a national landmark since it is large, majestic-looking and colored pink. On the other end of the King’s Way across a number of up-scale boutiques, hotels, shops and restaurants, is a statue of King Mahendra. From end to end, young locals and tourists flood the area, checking out the coolest restaurants and entertainment facilities. It is crowded in the evenings and even more packed on weekends.
King Mahendra was the father of Nepal’s last king. His image stands at the center of the roundabout between Durbar Marg and Jamal. Jamal used to be a teeming community but was stripped off of its land to give way to the construction of this expensive landmark road. King’s Way was constructed during Nepal’s periods of expansion under the Rana Dynasty, which ruled the country from 1846 to 1953. The Rana rulers mercilessly seized a sizeable amount of land areas from ancient Jamal settlers, farmers and monasteries. An important bahal, which is a courtyard or town square, was destroyed to make way for the new road. A few years later, the image of White (Sveta) Matsyendranath, the god who used to occupy the bahal, was found lying in a field. The discovery of the image is now celebrated every year during the Matsyendranath Jatra festival. A chariot is assembled to circle King Mahendra’s statue three times.
Also found along Durbar Marg is the Tri Chandra College campus, a Muslim mosque and rows of modern facilities, which include Sherpa Mall and Times Square Mall. Sherpa Mall used to be a hotel, Sherpa Hotel, but today it is a well known modern department store in Nepal. It offers high-end stores and restaurants. It is very popular among teenagers.
Times Square Mall, on the other hand, is a newly built tourist destination that targets both teenagers and middle-aged shoppers. This four-storey mall offers a variety of items sold in 30 different shops, which include Garage, Make Over, Retail Therapie, Blossom, Square Digital, Baseman, and Options, just to name a few, as well as restaurants and food joints, such as Preggo Pizza, Momos and Pastas, Chunk Berry’s, Himalayan Beanz Coffee, Mumbai Masala, and so on. A live band performs every night.
Durbar Marg is strategically built in the very heart of Kathmandu, the most important city in Nepal. You cannot miss this exciting and very lovely road. People refer to it as the Manhattan of Kathmandu.