Dharahara or The Bhimsen Tower
Towering like a lighthouse over Kathmandu, the Bhimsen Tower or Dharahara is an edifice of architectural importance. Situated in Sundhara, it is a nine storey (50.2m) tall tower. It was built in 1832 AD by the then Prime Minister Bhimsen Thapa.
The tower has been built in Mughal and European style. Inside, spiral staircases lead the way straight to the eight floor balcony. A Shiva shrine at the right at the top also gives the tower a religious importance.
The original Bhimsen Tower was built in 1824 and was eleven storeys high, two storeys taller than Dharahara. The massive earthquake of 1834 caused severe damages to Bhimsen Tower. 100 years later, in January 15, 1934, another massive earthquake occurred and the structure was completely destroyed. Only two storeys remained. However, the then prime minister Juddha Shumsher renovated Dharahara to its current form.
The tower was constructed for military purposes. It was used to keep an eye over the valley and to summon the people when urgent messages were to be delivered.
The Bhimsen Tower Today
Toady, the Bhimsen Tower is one of the chief attractions in the area. People come from far and wide to climb the 213 steps just to catch glimpses of Kathmandu valley. The views from up are worth the exhausting climb.
Entrance fees are charged to climb the tower. The charge varies according to age group and nationality.