Singha Durbar

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Singha Durbar
Singha Durbar in March 2008
General information
Architectural styleNeoclassical architecture, Palladian architecture, and European styles of architecture
Town or cityKathmandu
ClientChandra Shumsher JBR
Technical details
Structural systemBrick and Mortar
Design and construction
Architect(s)Kumar Narsingh Rana, Kishor Narsingh Rana[1]
Aerial shot of Tundikhel along with Singha durbar in 1920

Singha Durbar (Nepali: सिंहदरवार, lit.'Lion's Palace') is a palace in Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal. The palace complex lies in the centre of Kathmandu, to the north of the Babar Mahal and Thapathali Durbar and east of Bhadrakali Temple.[2] This palace was built by Chandra Shumsher JBR in June 1908.[3] The palace used to be one of the most exquisite and lavish of palaces in the world until the 1950s.[citation needed] Today it houses buildings of the Nepali Government, including the Pratinidhi Sabha, the Rastriya Sabha and several ministries.


Singha Durbar was built by Chandra Shumsher JBR immediately after accession to the post of Prime Minister. It was initially a small private residence but grew bigger during the construction. Immediately after construction, Chandra Shumsher JBR sold this property to the Government of Nepal for 20 million Nepali rupees as the official residence of Prime minister.[3] After his death in 1929, it was used as the official residence of prime ministers of Rana dynasty except Padma Shumsher JBR, who lived in his own Bishalnagar Durbar. The last Rana Prime minister to occupy Singha Durbar was Mohan Shumsher JBR. Even after the fall of Rana Dynasty in 1951, Mohan used this place, but in 1953 he was ordered by His Majesty's Government to leave the palace which became National Property.[3]

Under Government of Nepal[edit]

Main Gate of Singha Durbar

After the end of the hereditary Prime Minister system (Ranas) on 1907 B.S., the Government of Nepal used this palace compound to house government offices. The palace compound is occupied by both chambers of the Parliament of Nepal (the Pratinidhi Sabha, or House of Representatives, and the Rashtriya Sabha, or House of the States). It holds 20 ministries and government offices. Singh Durbar is also the headquarters of Radio Nepal and Nepal Television.[citation needed]

Shingha Durbar


Exterior structure[edit]

The structure was designed by Kumar Narsingh Rana, Kishor Narsingh Rana. The architecture of the palace is a unique example of merging building traditions, including Palladian, Corinthian, Neoclassical mansions along with Baroque architecture.[1][3]

Interior space[edit]

Before the fire of 1973, Singha Durbar had 7 courtyards and 1700 rooms with marbled floor, painted ceilings, silver furniture and expanses of crystal lighting.[1][4]

State Hall[edit]

View of the Durbar from the gardens

The State Hall is the largest and the most decorated room in this palace. This hall is adorned with foreign imported art pieces like Murano glass crystal chandeliers, Belgian mirrors along with English stained glass doors and Italian marble floors with floral patterns in walls and ceilings.[3]

Gallery Baithak[edit]

Juddha Shumsher built Gallery Baithak to meet foreign dignitaries. During that time, ambassadors from friendly countries used to present their credence at the Hanuman Dhoka. Later the Gallery Baithak was used as the parliament building.


Fire of 1973[edit]

On Monday, 9 July 1973, a huge fire broke out in Singha Durbar engulfing all three wings of the palace except the front facing wing . To prevent the front wing from catching fire, cannon destroyed three wings facing North, South and West.[4] After the fire was put out, the whole area was rebuilt on the old foundation.[4]

Earthquake of 2015[edit]

Singha Durbar was seriously damaged during the April 2015 Nepal earthquake.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Mark Tushnet; Madhav Khosla (4 September 2015). Unstable Constitutionalism. Cambridge University Press. pp. 66–. ISBN 978-1-107-06895-7.
  2. ^ "THE HISTORIC DURBARS OF KATHMANDU". 19 October 2014. Retrieved 5 June 2015.
  3. ^ a b c d e JBR, PurushottamShamsher (2007). Ranakalin Pramukh Atihasik Darbarharu [Chief Historical Palaces of the Rana Era] (in Nepali). Vidarthi Pustak Bhandar. ISBN 978-9994611027.
  4. ^ a b c
  5. ^ "My City | Photo blog from Nepali Times » Blog Archive » Rana palaces after the earthquake".

Coordinates: 27°41′53.77″N 85°19′30.91″E / 27.6982694°N 85.3252528°E / 27.6982694; 85.3252528