Gorkha Tourist Attractions

Gorkha (Prithibinarayan)
Gorkha, officially called Prithibinarayan, is located 23 km (14 mi.) north of the main road linking Kathmandu and Pokhara.

Upallo Durbar Fortress

The Gorkha fortress, perched above the town like an eagle's eyrie, provides some spectacular views. To the north are the peaks of the High Himalayas from the Ganesh Himal in the east to Dhaulagiri in the west, with majestic Manaslu (8156 m (26,768 ft)) catching the eye between. To the south are the summits of the Mahabharat range. The fortress was built at the time of Ram Shah (1606-36) and extended by his successors. Architecturally and artistically it bears all the hallmarks of the craftsmen from the Kathmandu Valley to whom the Shahs entrusted the embellishment of their palace while they themselves concentrated on the art of war.


The palace is in two sections, Kalika Durbar and Raj Durbar, linked by the Ranga Mahal. In the west wing there is a temple dedicated to Kali, maintained by members of a particular Brahmin caste. Only they and the king are permitted to enter (ordinary folk will die, it is said, if they set eyes on the religious symbol). The Brahmins sacrifice animals at the temple door. The royal apartments used to be in the east wing. The Dhuni Pati, where Prithvi Narayan Shah was born, has been elevated into a shrine.
Prithvi Narayan Shah had a small Pashupati shrine built as a substitute for the Pashupatinath Temple beside the Bagmati. On the palace's lower level are a functions hall and hospice built by Rudra Shah. On the west side a helicopter pad has been constructed for the convenience of the king.

Gorakhnath Cave

In the rocks some 10 m (33 ft) or so below the south side of the palace is the Gorakhnath cave shrine. Here Gorakhnath, a celebrated 12th c. yogi revered as an incarnation of Shiva, is said to have meditated. The cave is linked to the palace physically - by a flight of steps - and doctrinally, Gorakhnath being the guardian deity of the Gurkha kings and an ally in all their battles. This is believed to reflect a real connection between the warlike Gurkhas and the yogi, the latter having attained immortality through his unselfish care for an ailing prince.


From a chautaara on the east side of the palace a path ascends to the upper fort, Upallokot, atop the neighboring hill, a walk of about 20 minutes. The fort, little more than a pocket-size courtyard, now with a telecommunications tower, is noted for its outstanding views of the Himalayas and Mahabharat range as well as the compact Gorkha fortress below.
On the opposite side of the palace a second path climbs up to Tallokot, another vantage point. While the vista is not nearly as good as from Upallokot it is rather more easily gained.

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