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Architecture of Nepal

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Architecture Of Nepal

Nepalese religious architecture is another art medium that is an important part of the country's cultural heritage. There are three broad styles - the Pagoda style, the Stupa style and the Shikhara style.

The Pagoda Style : This style refers to multi-roofed structures with wide eaves supported by carved wooden struts. Windows, either latticed or grilled, are usually projecting, while triangular spires enclosing and inverted bell of stucco or burnished gold generally top off the roof. The pagoda style shows the architectural genius of Nepal.A young architect-sculptor-painter named baibhau (or Arniko as the Chinese call him), led a delegation of 80 Nepalese artists to Tibet during the late thirteenth century at the invitation of the Chinese Emperor Kublai KhanThe Pagoda style was soon adopted in China and from there spread to other Asian Countries. The best example of the pagoda style in the Kathmandu Valley is Kasthamandap, a wooden pagoda built in the Malla period and from which the name of the capital city is said to be derived. The nine-storey Basantpur Palace built by King Prithvi Narayan Shah is another outstanding pagoda specimen. The Pashupati, Taleju and Changu Narayan temples are also notable examples.

The Stupa Style : The Swayambhu and Boudhanath shrines are Nepal's first examples of the stupa or Chaitya style. This style is purely Buddhist in concept and execution. The outstanding feature of the stupa is a hemispherical mound topped by a square base supporting a series of the thirteen circular rings. Narrowing towards the top, the rings are crowned by a parasol. The fourSides of the square base or the harmika, as it is called, are often painted with pairs of mystic ' all - seeing eyes'. The stupas in Patan, said to have been built by King Ashoka, are considered to be the most ancient stupas of Nepal.

The Shikhara Style : The Shikhara style forms yet another architectural design found in Nepal. The super structure is a tall curvilinear or pyramidal tower whose surface is broken up vertically into five to nine section. The final section consists of a bell-shaped part at the top. The Krishna temple in Patan, consecrated by king Siddhi Narsingh Malla, is the finest specimen of the relatively less popular Shikhara style.


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