This whitewashed european colonial style building in Kathmandu Durbar Square known as Gaddi Baihak is often a point of confusion for visitors. It looks very much out of place in among the design and architecture of the surrounding temples and places.
Gaddi Baihak was badly damaged during the April 25th earthquake in Nepal. It was announced in 2016 that Gaddi Baihak will need to be completely torn down and rebuilt. This was contested by locals who have stated they want it repaired. In 2019 repairs were completed however the inside often remains closed off as surrounding buildings are repaired.
Gaddi Baihak is actually apart of the royal palace throne room. Built in 1908 during the Rana period it was heavily influenced by both the British who often liaised with Nepal. .
Today Gaddi Baihak is used only for special state ceremonies. Around the side is the entrance to Hanuman Doka or the inner palace which you can now enter.
Did you know?
The word “gaddi” means throne and “bhaithak” means meeting room.
The Rana's ruled Nepal between 1846-1951 and stood behind the Shah monarchy who remained head of state. The Rana's were also very much pro-British and helped the British on multiple occasions. This included during the Indian rebellion of 1857 and later in both World Wars.
Jang Bahadur Rana was prime minister when Gaddi Baihak was built in what can still be seen as a very definite salute to the British empire.
Gaddi Baihak is included in the main Kathmandu Durbar Square entrance fee. However there is no entrance allowed into the actual building itself.
From Thamel head straight south to Kathmandu Durbar Square. You can walk along a Kathmandu city heritage walk to make the most of the journey there. In Kathmandu Durbar Square, the exterior of Gaddi Baihak is located in the southern section of Durbar Square.
Map to the Gaddi Baihak
Heritage walk guide:
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