Narayanhiti Palace, or Narayanhiti Durbar (Nepali: नारायणहिटी दरवार) is a palace in Kathmandu, which long served as the residence and principal workplace of the reigning Monarch of the Kingdom of Nepal. Located in the capital city of Kathmandu, the palace was the centre of state occasions and royal hospitality. The palace complex is located towards east of the Kaiser Mahal next to Thamel, and is incorporated in an impressive and vast array of courtyards, gardens and buildings. The current Narayanhiti Durbar was built by King Mahendra in 1963.
The name, ''Narayanhiti'' is made up of two words ‘Narayana’ and ‘Hiti’. Narayan is the Hindu god Vishnu, whose temple is located opposite to the palace. ‘Hiti’ means “water spout” in Newar Language, which is also located to the east of main entrance in the precincts of the palace, a landmark that features prominently in local legends.
First houses on the site
During the early Shah period, the site of the future Narayanhiti Palace was occupied by family of shreepali basnet Kaji Dhokal Singh Basnet house. Ownership of the site changed hands many times;after Dhokal singh Basnyat the site was occupied by Chautariya Fateh Jung Shah (6th Prime Minister of Nepal), his father courtier Choutaria Pran Shah and family. During Kot massacre of 19 September 1846 both Prime Minister Chautariya Fateh Jang Shah along with his father Choutaria Pran Shah and brothers were killed or send in exile out of Kathmandu. After this massacre Narayanhiti Palace was taken over by Jung Bahadur Rana's brother future Prime Minister then colonel Ranodip Singh Kunwar. Colonel Ranodip Singh ordered minor renovation of the old palace of Choutaria Pran Shah and used it as his private residence. After ascending the throne of Prime Minister Maharaja in 1877, Narayanhit Durbar was again renovated, but this time much lavish and was extended into multi-wing palace On 22 November 1885 during a coup d'état Prime Minister Maharaja Ranodip Singh Kunwar was assassinated by his nephews, the Sumsher brothers(Khadga Shumsher, Chandra Shumsher, and Dumber Shumsher) somewhere in the southern wing of this palace.
Home of the monarch
Old Narayanhiti Palace ca. 1920, demolished in 1958.
After the death of Prime Minister Maharaja Ranodip Singh Kunwar, on 22 November 1885 Bir Shumsher JBR assessed the throne of Prime Ministership and took over the Narayanhiti palace of Ranodip Singh. In 1886 Bir Shumsher uprooted the whole Narayanhiti palace and build a new palace under the master Nepalese architect Jogbir Sthapit for his son-in-law Maharajadhiraj King Prithvi Bir Bikram Shah. Thus moving the royal residence of reigning Monarch of Kingdom of Nepal from Hanuman Dhoka Durbar to Narayanhiti Durbar
Earthquake of 1934
During 1934 Nepal–Bihar earthquake Narayanhity Palace was partially damaged killing two infant Princess, daughters Princess of King Tribhuvan. Repair and renovation work was done under Colonel Engineer Surya Jung Thapa and a new Portico and Grand Staircase was built.
In 1963, King Mahendra ordered the demolition of old palace and construction of new palace. The new palace was built in Nepalese architecture style under the design of Californian architect Benjamin Polk, who operated out of India at the time. Decade-long construction of the palace ended in 1969. The Griha Praves in the new palace was done on the occasion of the Hindu wedding ceremony of Prince Birendra the then-heir apparent to the throne on 27 February 1970.