Kumari Bahal

The monastery temple of Kumari, popularly known as the Kumari Bahal, is of town house design. It is the first structure to meet the visitor of Durbar Sauare as it lies at the end of New Road. It is above all the sacred home of the living goddess or vestal virgin and it has housed goddess- children since it was built by King Jay Prakash Malla in 1757 A.D. (1813 B.S.)

The three-step entrance to the shrine is guarded by two stone lions painted white. The outer doorway has a huge wooden Toran a very impressive display of the temple artistry as do each of the four wooden windows of the first floor and seven windows of the second floor. The four large outer windows of the second level have famous peacock designs filling them. The windows of the third floor are more usual including black-painted triple groupings at the center which slants forward, and round windows in rectangular frames between these groups. Deeply carved Cornices(an ornamental molding around the wall of a room just below the ceiling) stands below the upper two rows of windows. The title roof has a very gradual slant and is supported by small struts of simple divine figures which do not rest on the cornices far below them but attached directly to the wall. A triple spire pinnacle with triple umbrellas on a floral framework of three arches over the spires completes the exterior.

It is the wooden windows of the court, however, which makes the architectural frame of this building. There are four very large two-level window frames mounted on the walls of the courtyard., with three window opening on the 2nd & 3rd floors of each walls. With magnificent Torans all over the courtyard, giving the perfect example of the beautiful impressive wooden art work.It is in the large window groupings that the living goddess appears to visitors. Her most important appearance being at the time of the 14th day of Bhadra Shukla (Aug~Sep) at Indra Jatra festival. During this festival Kumari is placed on a chariot and taken around Kathmandu city.