Situated 144km/90 miles north west of Kathmandu City, Gorkha is the birthplace of the Great King Prithivi Narayan Shah, the founder of Nepal. It is also the ancient Kingdom of the Shah Kings of Nepal. Gorkha can be reached in about 5 hours by road from Kathmandu and 2 hours from Pokhara. All tours are to be done on foot since the drivable road ends just below the Gorkha town.
There is a beautiful old palace, Gorkha Darbar, built by King Ram Shah which is one of the most outstanding examples of Neplese architecture. It is situated on a hill overlooking the snowy peaks of the Himalayas. King Prithivi Narayan Shah started the campaign to unify the Kingdom from this palace. It can be reached after a steep uphill climb of one and half hours. The main palace courtyard is closed to all foreigners but you can enter the outer part from where you have a spectacular view of the Gorkha town. If you climb further, you can reach Upalla Kot (1,522 m), which is an attractive sightseeing hill with a tower. Inside the palace precinct, are two temples, Gorakhnath and Kali. Only Hindus are allowed inside the temple of Gorakhnath, from where the town derives its name. The famous Gorkha soldiers also hail from this place.
In the east of the Gorkha Darbar is the Gorakhnaths Cave and in the heart of old Gorkha city is the Lower Palace, which represents the art and architecture of the Mall period; it’s now a museum. The palace is known for its artistic wooden windows and doors and the Peacock windows. The palace is to be utilized as a historical museum under the name of Prithivi Sangrahalaya in the near future.
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