Nepal’s Last King Moves To Forest Resort From Royal Palace

By Bernama,

Kathmandu : Nepal’s deposed king Gyanendra’s new residence — a forest retreat — is a humble abode compared to the sprawling and luxurious Narayanhiti royal palace in central Kathmandu, Press Trust of India (PTI) reported.

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The Nagarjuna palace, located seven kms west of the capital, has a centrally-located two-storied bungalow called ‘Hemanta Bas’, with two bedrooms, a dressing room and a meeting hall called ‘Hemanta Baithak’ on the ground floor.

The complex has nine other small buildings, including three guest houses named after seasons — Barsha Bas, Sharad Bas and Grishma Bas — as also a secretariat and staff quarters.

On the other hand, the 200-year-old Narayanhity Durbar had several palaces within the grounds covering 30 hectares, surrounded by high walls. It was guarded from all sides and most parts were not open for public viewing.

The palace takes its name from a Vishnu (Narayan) temple to the east and hiti, a famous historic waterspout situated nearby.

The Shah kings moved to the Narayanhity Durbar in the late 18th century, after which it has seen a number of changes during the course of time. The current edifice was inaugurated in 1970 on the occasion of the wedding of King Birendra Bikram Shah.

Narayanhity Palace was nationalised by the Nepalese government in August 2007 but the former king was allowed to remain there until the pending Constuent Assembly elections.

Now, after the exit of Gyanendra, the palace would be turned into a national museum.