About the Golden Gate(Sundhoka)

The Golden Gate is an unmissable part of the Royal Palace in Bhaktapur's Durbar Square. The golden gate is also know as Sundhoka or Soon Dhoka and was built by King Ranajit Malla in 1753 CE. It provides the entranceway to the inner courtyard that you may pass though on the way to the Taleju temple and Naga Pokhari.

The Golden Gate in Bhaktapur Nepal
The Golden Gate in Bhaktapur Nepal
The gateway's frame is of immense archaeological, historical and religious importance.  Built in 1753 by king Ranajit Malla out of copper gilding. The intricate craftsmanship has led it to be called the greatest piece of Nepalese art ever created.


There's a permanent army guard by the Golden Gate guarding the entrance into the Royal Palace courtyard. Don't worry though, it's free to enter.


Did you know?

Bhaktapur was the capital city of the Malla Kingdom until the 15th century but remained an independent kingdom until the 18th century.

Here's a larger photograph of the Golden Gate of Bhaktapur.


Highlights of the Golden Gate

Just outside the gate on either side is a vase symbolizing good fortune. The Golden Gate itself is made from gilded copper and is said to be the best example of repoussage.

Starting at the top above the door is a Toran featuring a powerful winged Garuda with a naga (serpent) flowing downwards.

Under the Garuda is a four-headed Taleju depiction who sports ten arms. This the Malla royal guardian deity.

Today people still pay respect to two other important deities shown on gate which are covered in red tikka - Bhairab and Kali.

Percy Brown (1872 CE - 1955 CE) a British historian is quoted as saying the following about the Golden Gate:

the most lovely piece of art in the whole Kingdom; it is placed like a jewel,flashing innumerable facets in the handsome setting of its surroundings.

Entrance fee

There is no fee to see the Golden Gate in Bhaktapur as it's covered under the main Durbar Square ticket. There's is also no fee to enter inside through the Golden Gate.

Behind the Golden Gate are the Taleju Temple and the Royal bath which you can visit.


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