5 architecture marvels in Nepal

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The intricate art and architecture of Nepal other than Mount Everest is the key reason why Nepal has a lot of visitors every year. Apart from its scenic beauty, Nepal has some remarkable landmarks that will ace your heart in and out! the greatness of the Ancient land of Gods, acts like a junction of two impactful religions, Buddhism and Hinduism. ‘Newars’, the great Nepalese craftsmen, responsible for the resplendence of the artwork that portrays true spirit of craftsmanship. 

  1. Kathmandu Durbar Square
5 architecture marvels in Nepal
Image Courtesy : https://ntb.gov.np

Durbar square is a name that specifies plazas or the vicinity of  ‘Durbar’. Nepal has almost three Durbar Squares amongst which this is the most prominent one.  There are three durbar squares in Nepal, and among them, the most famous one is the Kathmandu Durbar square. Also referred to as the Hanuman Dhoka Square, this site served as a courtyard of the Royal Palace in ancient times. The quadrangle was made in ancient times of the Licchavi reign but went under renovation during the rule of the Mallas. 

With intricate artwork and engravings, this place depicts the talent of the Newari community.  Taleju, Kasthamandap Temples, Krishna temple etc are some of the famous shrines located in the premises of Durbar square. With multiple rooftops, the buildings of Darbar square have a typical architectural detail of Pagoda style. These buildings are not just a signage of great culture but also proportions. 

  1. Changu Narayan Temple
5 architecture marvels in Nepal
Image Courtesy : www.bhaktapur.com

The entire temple is filled with colourful sculptures, beautifully carved out of wood and is also considered to be one of Nepal’s oldest temples.  The dual roofed temple, sits over a high plinth and has four entrances, which have enormous sculptures of lions and Garudas with several incarnations of Lord Vishnu, engraved on the struts supporting the roofs of the temple. The stone pillars in the temple have slokas or verses, inscribed on them, which are of great importance to the Hindu religion.

  1. Bhaktapur Durbar Square
5 architecture marvels in Nepal
Image Courtesy bhaktapurmun.gov.np/en

Bhaktapur Durbar square is in the premises of small town Bhaktapur which is little far from Kathmandu but perfectly portrays a picture of the rich cultural background of Nepal. It was built by King Bhupatindra Malla, during the Malla reign, in the 17th century.The fifty-five window Palace, one of the main attractions of this Square, has a Golden gate at the entrance and intricate carvings of religious verses. 

It consists of four squares, namely, the Durbar Square, Taumadhi Square, Dattatreya Square and the Pottery Square along with numerous temples having multiple roofs. The Durbar has several sculptures of ancient rulers and live sized animals of religious importance like elephants on stone plinths. The scale and proportions of these carvings range from the minute ones to gigantic ones!

  1. Namobuddha Stupa
5 architecture marvels in Nepal
Image Courtesy : Wikimedia Commons

Namobuddha Stupa consists of a pinnacle at the top, a hemispherical dome, but not as large as the other stupas and five other smaller stupas, along with the main one that portrays the five elements of Buddhism i.e air, water, fire, earth and space. It is one of the most sacred pilgrimage sites for Buddhists. It is said that it was the place where Lord Buddha, in his previous birth as a prince, sacrificed his body to a starving tigress and her cubs and therefore, the site is sometimes also referred to as “Takmo Lu Jin”, which means ‘Tigress Body Generosity” in Tibetan. Pilgrims believe that this stupa was built on top of the remains of Lord Buddha, to celebrate his great sacrifice.

  1. Boudhanath Stupa
5 architecture marvels in Nepal
Image Courtesy : Wikipedia.com

Stupa in ‘Sanskrit’ refers to a dome shaped architecture which is called Chorten in Tibetan. It was built right after the demise of Lord Buddha during the 5th century AD in the reign of King Manadev (464-505)AD and is the world’s largest Chhyorten. It is believed that the stupa contains the remains of Kassapa Buddha. The giant Boudhanath stupa is believed to be a gateway to heaven serving as a horizon between the earth and sky. The base of the stupa structure consists of three large platforms decreasing in size. These platforms are symbolising the sky whereas the circular vase supporting the semi-sphere signifies water. 

The eyes of Buddha painted on stupa are diversely described as inscrutable, impassive, empathy and shrewd. It is believed that thousands of Buddhas incarnated as Lamas in the Boudha stupa and the rays of Bodhisattva entered the stupa in the form of a song from heaven and was heard in the sky. The main entrance to this holy place is on the north side of the upper platform. The Boudha Stupa is surrounded by streets and narrow alleys where the walls are painted with Buddha images , scripts with vibrant lines.

Written by Drashti Patel

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