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First Courtyard - Mughal Mahal

Nepal's first "imported" architectural style was the plastered Mughal style of Lucknow, India as used by Jung Bahadur in his garden palace at Thapathali. The Thapathali palace complex, among the grandest and most eclectic of 19th century Asia, stretched almost a mile and began just south of this courtyard.

Before Construction
After Construction

Second Courtyard - Hanuman Chowk

"... a place where temples seem to outnumber the Inhabitants", so the Kathmandu Valley was described by many a . 19th century traveler. The same holds today where the dedication of a small shrine accompanies nearly every building activity. Here Hanuman, the Hindu monkey-god and servitor of hero prince Rama, protects the commerce of this diminutive courtyard.

Hanuman Chowk - Before
Hanuman Chowk - After

Third Courtyard - Newar Hybrids

The European palace styles of the Rana Maharajas soon trickled down to the more humble townhouses and shop fronts of Newar merchants and urban farmers. This and the adjacent courtyard preserve a number of typical shop fronts and windows from Patan whose classical columns, louvered grills and diminutive size are a blend of European and Asian sensibilities.

Newar Hybrids
Newar Hybrids


Constructed in 1919 this row of arcaded structures is part of the original goth or cowshed of the Baber Mahal palace grounds. Galli or "lane" in Nepal is a new name describing the space created by the addition of a similar one-story structure opposite.

Cowsheds were found in every Rana palace complex providing the aura of the cow's holiness as well as her delicious milk.

Galli - While Construction
Galli - After Construction

Fourth Courtyard - Mulchowk

This restored courtyard of Baber Mahal includes former cowsheds and outbuildings dating to 1920's as well as new buildings (1996-97). The new architecture Incorporates classical details borrowed from the original Baber Mahal facade, homage to the grand style of Baber Shumshere.

The original Baber Mahal palace consisted of 250 rooms around four courtyards in European Style and approached by with billiard room ("Billiard Ghar"), a Japanese garden hillock with temple to Bhimsen, an English rose, garden and "Putali Bagaichha", a garden dedicated to Jung Bahadurs' great love, the Maharani Putali.

Sir Baber SJB Rana - Great Grand Father of Gautam SJB Rana
Maj. Gen. Aditya SJB Rana
Father of Gautam SJB Rana

Fifth Courtyard - Cow Shed & Guards' Quarter

Where cows once munched, now people enjoy international cuisine served Al Fresco in what is termed by guests to be the most relaxing spot in Kathmandu.