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Palaces of Nepal that are converted to Hotels

If we look back at the history of Nepal, we find that many kings and emperors ruled
in different periods. The kings who ruled in different periods seem to have their own material
comforts. Especially during the Rana rule, many royal palaces were built in Nepal. This fact is
confirmed not only in the pages of history but also in the structure of some of the existing
palaces. At present, some palaces are owned by the Government of Nepal and some have been
converted into private property. The palace, which is under the control of the government, is
used as a government office. Some of the privately owned palaces have been converted into
luxury hotels.


Today we are going to discuss about some of the three big palaces that have been turned into
hotels. Many may not know about those palaces. The first of the palaces we are trying to discuss
is the Lazimpat Palace in Lazimpat, Kathmandu. Currently, it is known as Durbar Shankar Hotel.
Known as the Royal Heritage, the hotel was initially built by Kazibir Keshar Pandey. It was
rebuilt by Birshamsher Jabra in 1885 after it collapsed during the Sepoy Rebellion. The palace,
which was later owned by Agni Shamsher Rana, was purchased by Ram Shankar Shrestha and
established as Hotel Shankar in 1964.
This hotel is also one of the well-equipped five star hotels in Kathmandu. Filled with historical
beauty and artistic structure, this hotel is located on four floors. The hotel has 94 rooms and 2
restaurants.
In Kathmandu, Shant Bhawan is a famous building known for weddings, bratbandhas and grand
parties. With the end of the Rana rule, the palace, owned by Shant Shamsher Jabra, was
converted into a hospital in 1956. Since 1975, Gyanodaya Kindergarten School has been
operating in this palace.
The palace has been brought into operation as a Heritage Garden since 2017 after being damaged
by a major earthquake in 2015.
Similarly, the well-equipped five-star Yak & Yeti Hotel located at Durbar Marg in Kothamadu
was once known as Lal Durbar. Hotel Yak & Yati has been in operation for about 40 years in
this Rana Durbar built on 300 ropanis. If you look at the history of this palace, it was built by
King Vir Shamsher in 1946 for his youngest queen Topkumari. After the death of Bir Shamsher,
his son Tej Shamsher started occupying this palace. In 1990, Juddha Shamsher took over the
palace. After the end of the Rana rule, Tej Shamsher’s sons claimed this palace which was taken
over by Juddha Shamsher after chasing Tej Shamsher in Narayani region.
The hotel currently has 5 grand assembly halls and 270 rooms.
The Dream Garden to the west of the Narayanhiti Palace is hardly unknown. Built in the name of
6 seasons, this garden with a resting house, European style veranda and various bird houses and a
beautiful pond attracts everyone. As a tourist destination, this garden is considered as a mini
Europe.

Rana Commander Keshar Shamsher Jabra visited the garden of King Edward VII of Britain
during his visit to Europe. Impressed by the garden, Keshar Shamsher commissioned the
construction of the garden at Keshar Mahal. The palace was built in 1895 by Chandrashamsher
Rana. At present, there is a saffron library on one side of the palace and a dream garden on the
other side. Where many Nepali and foreign tourists come daily for sightseeing. A cafe has been
set up inside the garden keeping in view the tourists visiting the garden.
Known as the White Palace during the Rana period, the palace is now known as Hotel
Annapurna. Located in the southern part of Narayanhiti Palace, this palace was established in
1885 by Bir Shamsher Jabra. The palace, which was completely damaged in a fire in 1934, was
rebuilt.
In 1965, the palace was started as Hotel Annapurna. The hotel, which has been operating as a
five-star hotel for the past five decades, has been closed for some time due to the epidemic of
Covid 19.
The oldest palace in Nepal is Baber Mahal. Currently, this palace has been established as Baber
Mahal Village. This palace was built by Nain Singh Thapa. After the Bhandarkhal festival of
1846 and the malaria festival of 1847, it was taken over by Jung Bahadur Rana and turned into a
grand palace. In 1910, Chandra Shamsher demolished the palace and built it in the form of
Buckingham Palace in London for his son Babur Shamsher Rana. Which used to be known as
Babur Mahal. Operated as Baber Mahal Revisited in 1997, the palace is now in operation as
Baber Mahal Villas. The palace is spread over 7 hectares of land.
These were the historic palaces of Nepal that were turned into grand and well-equipped hotels.

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