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Featured Articles:
Kali (The Benevolent Goddess)
Tourism in Nepal
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Book Reviews:
The Symbolism of the Stupa
The Eternal Kumari of Kathmandu Valley
Nepalese Architecture
The Himalayan Art
The learned author has missed many aspects of Nepalese culture. The so called Virupakshya is described by him as a nobel man. If the author had studied more carefully he would not have missed the third eye indicating that the figure is one of the manifestations of Shiva and not a nobel man.
Tourism in Nepal
Nepal is a tourist's paradise with an infinite variety of interesting things to see and do. Nepal has many things to offer the visitor the flourishing of art and architecture a demonstrated by the temples of Kathmandu Valley, the natural beauties of the soaring peaks of Himalayas including Mountain Everest and others.
The Art & Architecture of Kathmandu Valley
Kathmandu valley is rich in art, architecture, and iconography of the images, the way of life of its people, festivals, panoramic view of the Himalayas and different ethnic groups that live within the parameters of this area. The art and architecture at valley has cornered more glory than similar shrines anywhere else in the country. The monuments of valley are glorious proportions and richly ornate Sculpture works and wood works are incredibly finding. Most of the art and architecture is based on the religious themes taken from Hinduism and Buddhism. To understand valley art and architecture thus requires knowledge of these two religions, their characteristics, development and nature. Katmandu art and architecture in time has developed characteristics of its own. The reasons lay in the Nepal's geographic location and the extraordinary inhabitants of the Katmandu valley. The art and architecture has been influenced by the Newars since earliest times. They carried their craft and artistic skills beyond the borders of Nepal to Tibet and China as well. The renowned artist and architect Arniko (1245-130A. D.) who came from Patan worked in Lhasa and Peking on the commission of the emperor of China, Kubilai khan.

Katmandu valley is the magical kingdom's capital having seven world-renowned heritage sites within a distance of 20 km radius. All three Durbar squares, Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur are full of art, architecture, iconographic antiquities and festivals. There are metaphorically more festivals than the days in our calendar. Corneal w. Kirkpartick remarks Kathmandu valley has "as many temples as houses and as many Gods as people".


The Popular Architecture of Kathmandu Valley

Newar Style (Pagoda)
Most of the temples of the Katmandu valley have layers of the roofs which is called Newar style. The scholars give many names to Nepalese pagoda: Nepal style, Newar style, multi roofed temple, storied style temple, multi staged temple etc. There are mainly four kinds of plan in Nepalese pagoda temple: rectangular square, circular, and octagonal.
Nepal is the home of the so-called Pagoda style architecture in the world. The main features of Nepalese style pagoda are: the temples with multiple plinths. The stairs are made by cutting the plinth. Important and big square temples have either a door or four in each direction. Raising wooden pillar from the sanctum and making space to circumambulate the temple often make pagodas. Above main gate there is always a tympanum (torana). The image of the main God of torana corresponds with the God of the temple. After completing the wall of the ground floor, wooden beams are kept above the wooden base support of bamboo or wood is used to hold the soil kept above. Vertical beams are put to support all the storeys. These vertical beams in turn are supported by horizontal beams kept in slanting shape. Struts (tundal) are kept in 45 degree angle to support the horizontal beams. Struts add beauty to Nepalese Pagoda. In fact, struts are the supporting element of the Nepalese Pagoda but they also serve as decorative architecture.

If observed carefully, corner struts contain united shape of human being, animals and birds. They have wings, horns, human shape or image of birds. It is totally in anthropomorphic style. They are also called Kushala (horse corner). The struts have idols of God and Goddess. Whether the Pagoda is one storey or five, the corner of roof is always bent upward. Birds and other addition at the top of the bent corner is the common feature of Pagoda temple. These birds give symbolic meaning that they seem like taking the temple to the heaven from the sky. Another feature of the Nepalese Pagoda is the artistic window, wind bell (fegan), erotic carving, caption of pictures and numbers found in some carved struts.

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Nepalese Culture, Society and Tourism
By: Diwas Dhakal

This book is a collection
of essays devoted to the
Nepalese Culture,Society and Tourism. A special
stress on Natural and
cultural Heritage of Nepal has been very carefully emphasised.
Diwas Dhakal, 2000 ISBN 99933-570-0-6,
First Edition 2000
Published by:
Mukta Dhakl
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Pagoda Style Architecture and Nepal

Development of Architecture in Nepal

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