Monday, October 18, 2010


Wednesday, January 24, 2007


(1) Narayanhiti Royal Palace (Attraction type: Historic home)
This is the current Royal Palace where the Himalayan Monarch of the Shah dynasty resides. It is built on a site of a much older one and owns a colossal compound. During the reign of late King Mahendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev, the father of the present king, the main gate was facing west. Today the main gate eventually faces south. Special permission has to be gotten to enter the palace premises on days of privilege. A famous historic water spout called Narayanhity, is situated at the southern corner of the Palace.

(2) Singha Durbar (Attraction type: Historic palace)
Literally meaning Lion Palace, it is a grand imposing palace built on the neo-classical style surrounded by a colossal compound. It was built by His Excellency Maharaja Chandra Shamsher S.J.B. Rana- the 5th Rana Prime Minister. It once stood as the private residence of the Rana Premiers till 1950 but now remains the Secretariat Building of His majesty's Government. The Parliament (including the Upper House and the Lower House), the Radio Station, the Television Station, etc. are all located in the very premises.

(3) Martyr's Memorial/Sahid Gate (Attraction type: memorial arch)
This is located on the way to Singha Durbar, between Bhimsen Stambha and Bhadrakali temple.The memorial arch contains the effigies of four political leaders who were mercilessly martyred in 1940. Two were hung and two were shot. They include Dharma Bhakta Mathema, Shukra Raj Joshy, Dashrath Chand and Ganga Lal Shrestha. The fatherly statue of late King Tribhuwan Bir Bikram Shah Deb appears high in the middle. Late King Tribhuwan is solely held responsible to lead the Historical revolution of 1950- 51 for laying the foundation of today's democratic system, virtually replacing the cruel family autocracy of the Ranas.

(4) Dharahara (Attraction type: Historical monument/lookout)
Also known as Bhimsen Tower to the local people, it is a 165 feet tall tower built by Premier Bhimsen Thapa in 1932. One fetches a panoramic view of the whole valley of Kathmandu from the top of the tower. It has been open for the general public since Magh 2061 B.S.

(5) Ranipokhari (Attraction type: Historical pond/religious site)
Situated in between Ratna Park and Jamal. This historical pond has been built by Pratap Malla to sympathize his beloved wife who was deeply shocked by the death of his son. The pond is opened for public only at the last day of Tihar - "Bhai Tika". Those who doesn't have any brothers or sisters visit Rani Pokhari to pay homage to Lord Shiva on that day.

(6) Nagpokhari (Attraction type: Historical pond/religious site)
Nagpokhari is situated at Naxal, at the eastern side of the Royal Palace along the main road stretching from Thamel upto NaniKeshar Bahal. Nagpokhari bears great religious and historical significance possessing perennial importance after Ranipokhari. Its overall importance gradually increased after the renovation as a park on the initiative of Her Late Majesty the Queen Aishwarya Rajya Laxmi Devi Shah. There are other historical and cultural heritages situated in and around Nagpokhari area mainly Royal Palace, Lal Durbar, NAFA Hall, Phohara Durbar, Naxal Bhagawati, Nandikeshar Bahal, Shankar Kriti Mahabihar etc. Naga Panchami is the festival of snakes celebrated on the fifth day of the bright fortnight in the month of shravan. Naga, the Snake God is one of the important deities worshipped by the Nepalese believing that Naga or Snake protects and fulfill their wishes.Great lord Shiva wears Nagas as garland on his neck.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Festival in Nepal

Nepal is not only the land of mountains; it is also the land of festivals. There are more than 50 festivals celebrated in Nepal every year. While the national festivals have fixed dates, religious festivals are set by astrologers following the lunar calendar. The best part about the festivals in Nepal is that all the events are celebrated with the same enthusiasm and galore the way it used to be hundreds of years ago when people had no other means of entertainment.

Some Nepali festivals do not always fall on the same month in each Year. Please see recent Nepali calendar for the exact date of festival holidays for the current year.

New Year: It is known as “Navavarsha” in Nepal. Nepal has its official calendar that begins from the first day of the first month Baisakh. This very first day is observed as Nepali New Year which usually falls in the second week of April. People go for picnics, have get-togethers and celebrate the day socializing in various ways as this day is also a national holiday.

Lhosar (Tibetan New Year): This is the New Year of the Tibetans and Sherpas of Nepal which falls in February. The Buddhist monasteries in Kathmandu like Boudhanath and Swayambhunath are decorated with eye catching colorful prayer flags pulling the crowd. The people perform their traditional dances and welcome their New Year with feasts and family gatherings wearing all the new clothes and finest jewelries and exchanging gifts.

Saraswati Puja: Saraswati Puja or Shree Panchami is a day to celebrate the birthday of Saraswati – the Goddess of Learning. This is a day when people from school students to scholars worship their pens and books to please the Goddess and expect her favor in their studies so they become wise and knowledgeable. People also throng around the idol of Goddess Saraswati, especially in Swayambhunath and offer flowers, sweets, fruits, etc. On this day, small children are taught to read and write and people write on the stones and slabs with chalks and pencils. This day which falls between January/February is regarded as a very auspicious day for marriages too as it is believed that Goddess Saraswati herself blesses the couples. Normally it is the astrologers who fix the marriage date and time in Nepal.

Shivaratri (Maha Shivaratri): Shivaratri or the night of Lord Shiva that falls sometime between February/March is one of the major festivals of Nepal. This day is dedicated to the Lord of the Lords – Lord Shiva or Mahadev who lived in Mt. Kailash in the Himalayas. Lord Shiva is the most worshipped God in the Hindu religion. More than 100,000 of Hindu devotees from India and Southeast Asia throng weeks ahead of the festival and gather in and around Pashupatinath temple – one of the holiest shrines of the Hindus in Kathmandu to pay their homage to Lord Shiva on his birthday. “Pashupatinath” literally means “the Lord of animals” as Lord Shiva is considered as the guardian and protector of everything that exists in the Himalayan Kingdom. On this holy day, worshippers take dip and bath in the holy river at early dawn and fast for the whole day and stay around fire to keep them warm as it is still winter in Nepal. The devotees also freely indulge in using marijuana and other intoxicating substances as these things are believed to please Lord Shiva and marijuana use is legal only on this sacred day.

Holi: This festival of water and colors that falls between February/March is also known as “Phagu” in Nepal. This day is observed to rejoice the extermination of female demon Holika who together with her King Brother conspired to kill his son Pralhad, an ardent devotee of Lord Vishnu. This day, playful people especially the young ones wander through the streets in groups on foot or vehicles with various colors smeared all over they and the people in houses make merry throwing colors and water balloons at each other and also to these people on the streets.

Ghode Jatra (Festival of Horses): This festival takes place between March/April and a grand horse parade takes place at Tundikhel. Although this festival does not have much of religious aspects, a large number of people, even from outside Kathmandu flock around Kathmandu to witness the horse race and other exciting sports activities performed by the Army in the presence of the King and the Royal family.

Buddha Jayanti: Buddha’s birth anniversary is celebrated every year during May in Nepal. On this day people swarm in Swayambhunath and Boudhanath to pay homage to Lord Buddha and also visit Buddha’s birth place in Lumbini and chant prayers and burn butter lamps. Lord Buddha was born as Prince Siddhartha Gautam but he abandoned his luxurious life when he realized the misery of mankind and went in search of enlightenment.

Gai Jatra (Cow Festival): This festival of cow is celebrated every year in August/September. This is one of the most popular festivals in Nepal as it is full of humor, satire, comedy, mockery and shades of sadness too at the same time. And on this day satires and jokes on anybody is legal. As per the tradition, the family who has lost a relative during the past one year must take part in a procession by sending young boys in cow like attire and walk through the streets of Kathmandu lead by a cow. Cow is regarded as a Goddess and it is also the national animal of Nepal. This festival also purges many who have lost their loved ones as they get to console themselves as to they are not the only ones who have been bereaved and it also teaches to accept death as a part of life.

Krishna Janmastami: The birth anniversary of Lord Sri Krishna, believed to be the 8th incarnation of Lord Vishnu falls sometime in August/September. All the devotees assemble in Krishna Mandir, the ancient Krishna Temple in Patan Durbar Square and other temples with the idol of Sri Krishna and offer prayers, flowers, food, sweets and chant hymns too.

Teej (Women festival): This is a Hindu married woman’s day for her man. This festival is celebrated in August/September. Women clad in beautiful red saris with shining potes (glass beads), singing and dancing is the sight almost everywhere in Nepal during the festival of Teej. On this day women observe a fast and pray Lord Shiva for the long, healthy and prosperous life of their husbands and their families. The unmarried women also observe this festival with unabated zeal with the hope that they will get to marry good husbands. From early dawn, women queue up in the multiple lines in Pashupatinath to offer their prayers to Lord Shiva.

Indra Jatra: This festival named after Lord Indra- the God of Rain and also the King of Heaven is celebrated by both the Buddhists and Hindus in Nepal in August/September. This festival lasts for eight days with singing, mask dancing and rejoicing. The chariot of Kumari – the Living Goddess is taken through the main streets of Kathmandu with much fanfare. On the first day, the King of Nepal also pays homage to Goddess Kumari. The crowd of excited people from performers to spectators engulfs the streets of Kathmandu during this festival. People get to enjoy various classical dances like elephant dance, lakhe – a very popular dance of a man with a mask.

Tihar: This festival of lights that falls between October/November is the second biggest festival after Dashain. This festival lasts for five days and people worship Laxmi – the Goddess of Wealth. All the houses are cleaned and decorated with the belief that Goddess Laxmi will enter the house that is the cleanest and people lit candles, oil lamps and other lights and the whole place looks illuminating. During the five days, crows, dogs and cows are worshipped and honored with vermilion, garland and delicious food for what they have done in the lives of humans. Crows are regarded as the messenger that brought news even during the times when there were no postmen and no postal services. Dogs are the most obedient animals and they guard our house as true guardians. Cow is also a symbol of wealth in Hinduism and she is also the national animal of Nepal. During Tihar, the Newari community in Nepal also observes Mha puja – a ritual of worshipping one’s own body and life. On this very day, the Newari New Year which is also known as Nepal Sambat begins. The festival ends with Bhai Tika – brothers’ day when his sisters worship him for his long and healthy life to safeguard the lives of his sisters. This is also a gambling time in Nepal as gambling is not illegal during this festival.

Dashain (Bijaya Dashami): During the month of Kartik (late September and early October), the Nepalese people indulge in the biggest festival of the year, Dashain. Dashain is the longest and the most auspicious festival in the Nepalese annual calendar, celebrated by Nepalese of all caste and creed throughout the country. The fifteen days of celebration occurs during the bright lunar fortnight ending on the day of the full moon. Thorough out the kingdom of Nepal the goddess Durga in all her manifestations are worshiped with innumerable pujas, abundant offerings and thousands of animal sacrifices for the ritual holy bathing, thus drenching the goddess for days in blood.

People, Culture, & Languages

The People, Culture, & Languages: In Nepal, ethnical cultural groups are diverse and many of them have their own languages and customs. However, they can be geographically categorized according to their habitats. The Sherpas who are of Tibeto-Burman stock mainly occupy the higher hills of eastern and central Nepal. Sherpas inhabit the SoIu Khumbu region, where the world’s tallest peak Mt. Everest stands. Generally they are Buddhist but some follow the Bon, the pre-Buddhist religion of Tibet, and other religions. The Sherpas are famed for their valor and mountaineering skills and are professionally involved in many mountain expeditions. Today. Sherpas have joined other occupations as well, like business, administration and politics.

A wide variety of ethnic groups occupy the mid-hills. The Kirats or Limbus and Rais inhabit the east. During the 7th century BC, they established a dynasty in the Kathmandu valley and ruled it for 1,000 years. They are not originally Hindus or Buddhists but are ancestor worshipers. However, today, many embrace Hinduism. In the former days, they were warriors and skilled hunters. The Kirats speak Tibeto-Burman languages. Many serve in the British Army today and have earned a reputation as the brave Gorkhali.

The population of the Kathmandu Valley consists mostly of Newars. They speak Nepal-vasa and practice Hinduism and Buddhism. Many families celebrate both Hindu and Buddhist festivals. Their culture also reflects tantrism and animism. Newars are accomplished in commerce and they run most enterprises in the heart of the Valley. Historically, they are well known for establishing the three artistically beautiful cities of Patan, Bhaktapur and Kathmandu.

The inhabitants of the hill flanks surrounding Kathmandu Valley are mostly Tamangs, who make up one of the largest Tibeto-Burman ethnic groups in the Kingdom. In the Tibetan language, Tamang means "horse soldier" which gives us an idea about their past occupation. Today, they farm and work as semi-skilled and unskilled laborers. Tamangs practice Tibetan Lamaism or the Bon religion and speak their own language.

The Magars live in the western and central hills of Nepal. They had their own kingdoms until the 18th century and were closely associated with the Hindu Indo-Aryans in the west. Much of their cultural practices have been influenced by Chhetris, and today it is difficult to make any difference in the housing, dressing and farming practices of the two. The British and Indian armies and a great number serve in the Gorkha regiments have sought after the Magars.

Another ethnic group closely resembling the Magars in many aspects are the Gurungs. They also live in the western and central hills of the country although further to the east. Of Tibeto-Burman stock, the Gurungs have their own distinct language and practice shamanism. Many find employment in the British and Indian armies.

The Khas are the Bahuns and Chhetris who formed their own kingdoms in the far west. They are Hindus, and the Khas originally spoke Nepali, which is the country’s official language. Traditionally, the Bahuns were priests and are better educated than most ethnic groups. In fact, many occupy important government and educational posts in the kingdom today. The Chhetris have traditionally been known as warriors. Those living in the higher hills in the far western region lead hard lives because of lack of rain and farming is practiced in the river valleys and on the hill flanks.

The Tharus are one of the original ethnic groups to inhabit the Terai. The Majhi, Danuwar, Rajbansi, Darai, Satar, and Dhimal also occupy the flat lands. The Tharus have their own unique religion and practice animism. Their culture is especially suited for the hot plains and they are actually immune to malaria. They have Mongoloid features and speak their own language. There is much migration going on in the country now and the cultural definition of the people by area is difficult. Urban population is increasing by 7% each year and most cultures have intermingled.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Manakamana Cabale Car: Nepal's only cable car,Manakaman Devi ...

Manakamana Cabale Car: Nepal's only cable car 
The Legend Behind Manakamana
Legend has it that Gorkha King Ram Shah’s (1614-1636 A.D) Queen possessed divine powers- a fact known only to Lakhan Thapa, her devotee. One day, when the King discovered that his Queen was a Goddess, he suddenly died. As per the custom, the Queen had to commit sati on his cremation pyre. Consoling the lamenting Lakhan, she promised to reappear near his home.
manakamana temple
Six months later, a farmer hit a stone while ploughing his field and noticed blood and milk flowing from it. The flow ceased when Lakhan worshipped the stone with tantric rituals. The site became the foundation of the present-day shrine-the current pujari Priest being the 17th generation descendant of Lakhan Thapa.
Renovated many times over the centuries, the Manakamana Temple has a four-tiered pagoda style roof with the entrance facing southwest. The priest performs daily prayers and rituals behind closed doors before allowing the public to enter. Manakamana Devi is widely believed bless her devotees by fulfilling their wishes.
Wish Fulfilling Goddess
Since the 17th century Manakamana Devi has been widely venerated all over the Nepal because of the belief that she fulfills all wishes. The Shrine is accessible in about 10 minutes with Nepal’s first cable car.
Manakamana Cabale Car:  Nepal's only cable car
Imported and installed by the world renowned Dopplemayr of Austria, the Manakamana Cable Car system is 100% safe with supporting feature like automatic backup generator, hydraulic emergency drive and a team of qualified and well-trained staff and technicians.
Ever since its inauguration by His Royal Highness Crown Prince Dipendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev on November 24 1998, Manakamana Cable Car has immensely contributed to the religious and touristy significance of the area. Besides drastically reducing the previously arduous five-hour climb to a mere 10 minute comfort trip, it has revolutionized the tourism of international standards.
Manakamana Cable Car has been able to garner overwhelming support from its customer within a short period of operation. This is attributable to proven records of safety, comfort, cleanliness and customer service, combined with the cultural importance of the Manakamana region and superb natural surroundings.
The grand main gate welcomes all to the Bottom Station (258M) which is located on the bank of the Trisuli river and is 2.5 hour drive away from Kathmandu (2 hours from Pokhara and 1 hour from Narayanghat).
The Top Station (1302m) at Manakamana is near the Manakamana Temple, which lies south of the historic town of Gorkha and is located on the top of a ridge overlooking the spectacular river valleys of Trishuli and Marshyangdi.
Other Facilities:
  • Internaional class restaurant serving local, Indian and continental cuisine
  • Communication facilities
  • Kiddies games
  • Souvenir shop
  • Parking space
  • Resort
Nature’s Prize: Journey to Manakamana can be exhilarating both spiritually and visually. Spectacular views from around the temple area include deep valleys, terraced fields as well as the Manaslu-Himlchuli and the Annapurna ranges.

Hanuman Dhoka (Old Royal Palace)

Hanuman Dhoka is the former Royal Palace of the Malla kings and sequentially of the Shah dynasty. It is several complexes connected together taking up about five acres. The eastern wing of the palace was built in the mid-16th century, and is the oldest part of the palace. It has ten courtyards. King Pratap Malla enlarged the original building in the 17th century, adding many of the temples. The oldest part of the palace is Sundari Chowk and Mohan Chowk in the north part of the palace, which are both closed. In 1768, after Prithvi Narayan Shah took over the valley he built four lookout towers in the southeast part of the palace.
The palace was last lived in by the royal family until1886, when the royal residence was moved to the Narayan Hitti Palace, in the northern part of Kathmandu. The old palace still has its ritual and ceremonial importance and the King of Nepal is crowned and other ceremonies enacted here.
Outside the palace is a stone inscription put there by Pratap Malla in 15 different languages. It is said that someone can read that milk with gush out from the middle of it.
The entrance is on the west side of the palace. Open daily except Tuesday, 10.30 am to 3 pm, 4 pm in the summer; Friday 10.30 am to 2 pm. Admission Rs 250.
Palace Entrance
You enter the palace through the Hanuman Dhoka (Hanuman Gate), on the east side of north Durbar Square. To the left of the palace entrance is a 17th century statue of Hanuman. Hanuman service to Rama as depicted in the Ramayana has led to Hanuman standing by the entrance (dhoka) of the palace guarding it. Hanuman is covered in a red cloth and has an umbrella over his head. The image of Hanuman dates from 1672. His face is covered by a red paste put on by visitors. On the left is an interesting sculpture of Lord Narasimha, the half-man, half-lion incarnation of Lord Vishnu, tearing apart the demon Hiranyakasipu.
Past the doorway is a black stone statue of Lord Narasimha, the half man-lion incarnation of Lord Vishnu, killing a the demon Hiranyakasipu, inlaid with silver on the left of the lobby. Lord Narasimha was placed here in 1673 by Pratap Malla and there is an inscription of the pedestal that state they it was put here because he feared that he had offended Lord Vishnu because he danced in a Narasimha costume.
Nasal Chowk
After entering the main entrance to the Durbar (palace) next to the Hanuman Temple, you come to Nassal Chowk courtyard. Nasal means “dancing one.” The courtyard gets its name from the image of Dancing Siva, on the east side of the square. The square is used for the coronation of the king. King Birendra was crowned as king in 1975 on the platform in the middle of the courtyard.
The nine storey Basantapur Tower is in at the south side of the courtyard. The building in the south and east sides of the square have intricately carved doorways, windows, and struts.
The courtyard was made during the Malla period, but many of the building around the square were built during by the Ranas. The rectangular square runs north–south. The entrance is in the northwest corner. Near the entrance is an intricately carved doorway, which was the entrance to the Malla’s king private apartments. There are images of four gods on the panels.
There is a golden image of Maha-Vishnu in an open veranda on the eastern wall. It was originally in the Maha-Vishnu Temple in the square, but after the 1934 earthquake was moved to this location. In the northeast corner of the courtyard is the Audience Chamber of the Malla kings. In this open veranda is the throne of the Malla kings and portraits of the Shah Kings.
Panch Mukhi Hanuman Temple
This temple dedicated to Hanuman is in the northeast corner of the Nasal Chowk courtyard. It has five circular roofs. Each city of the valley has a five roofed temple, the most famous being the Nyatapola Temple in Bhaktapur. Only the temple priest may enter this temple.
Basantapur Tower
South of Nassal Chowk is the huge nine-storey Basantapur Tower. You can climb the tower and get a great view of the palace and city. If it is clear you can also see the Himalaya Mountains. The struts on the facade of the tower, especially those facing Basantapur Tower have erotic carvings on them. Basantapur means “place of Spring,” and refers to Kathmandu.
King Prithvi Narayan Shah constructed the four red towers around Lohan Chowk. The towers represent the four old cities of the Kathmandu Valley. There is the Kathmandu or Basantapur Tower, the Kirtipur Tower, the Bhaktapur Tower or Lakshmi Bilas, and the Patan or Lalitpur Tower.
The tower was restored before King Birandra’s coronation.
Mul Chowk
The courtyard is surrounded by a two storey building and was dedicated to religious activities. Mul Chowk is dedicated to Taleju Bhawani, the goddess of the royal Malla family, and during the Dasain festival sacrifices are performed in the center of the courtyard. This courtyard can be seen from the doorway off Nassal Chowk.
There is a small Talegu Temple with a golden torana in the south side of the courtyard. The deity of Talegu is moved to this temple during the Dasain festival. There are images of the river goddesses Ganga and Yamanu on either side of the entrance.
From the Bhaktapur Tower, from where visitors usually view the courtyard, the view is not very good and the temple can not be viewed at all.
Degu Taleju Temple
This triple roofed temple dedicated to Taleju, the family deity of the Mallas, was built by Shiva Singh Malla.
Mohan Chowk
Mohan Chowk, north of Nasal Chowk is the residential courtyard of the Malla kings. It was built in 1649. In the past a Malla king had to be born here to be able to become king. It is believed Jaya Prakash Malla, the last Malla king, had problems because he was not born here. This courtyard can not be entered.
The golden waterspout, called Sun Dhara, in the center of the courtyard, is believed to have the water from Budhanilkantha in the north part of valley, come from it. The ornately carved spout is several metres below the level of the courtyard. The Malla kings would bathe from it each morning.
There are towers in its four corners.
The small Sundari Chowk is north of Mohan Chowk.
Tribhuwan Museum
On the west side of Nassal Chowk is the Tribhuwan Museum, which contains an exhibit of items of the grandfather of the present king. It has excellent stone carvings, several spectacular thrones, jewel-studded ornaments used for coronations, weapons, furniture, wooden temple carvings, and a coin collection.
There is a re-creation of the king’s bedroom and study, which contain the king’s personal effects. King Tribhuwan was responsible for overthrowing the Rana’s rule in 1951. There are many photos and newspaper clipping that depict he escape and then his successful taking back of the throne.
This part of the palace, next to Durbar Square, was built by the Ranas in the mid to late 19th century. You enter the museum from Nasal Chowk. Cameras have to be deposited at the door.
In the southeast corner of the courtyard is King Mahendra Memorial Museum, which has exhibits in relation to the present king’s father. It has two thrones.

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Historical Monuments & WHS
Cultural Heritage

Lalitpur, since historic times have been known for its rich social and cultural heritage and tradition. The city still displays this unique tradition and culture in its day to day life and activities. It won't be wrong to consider Lalitpur as a city of living culture rather than a heritage. Various religious and ethnic communities belonging either Hinduism or Buddhism live side by side in close harmony.
The city boasts with number of heritages both in tangibles and intangibles forms. Apart from the varieties of historic Hindu and Buddhist monuments like Bahas, Bahis, Pagoda and Stone Temples, Chaityas, Pati, Agamchhens, stone spouts etc., adorned with beautiful art and architecture, the buildings of ordinary people along the city's streets and alleys of the city form a part of its tangible heritage. The various religious and cultural activities that have survived the test of time and have continued to be indispensable part of people's day to day life too contribute to its intangible heritage.
Various Jatras or festivals, which would include various cultural and religious processions, dance, music and other various activities are even today enthusiastically observed and form an essential part of day –to-day life of its citizens.
Patan Durbar Square has been list in UNESCO world heritage sites, which is one of the seven such sites in Kathmandu Valley.

Tangible Heritage

1. Durbar Square

Patan Durbar Square located at the city centre is the focal point of all the heritages in Lalitpur. This palace complex from where the ancient rulers of this city ruled consists of 19 monuments in and around it. The Durbar Square was designated as World heritage site in 1979. It is a pride and glory of not only Patan but also the nation as a whole. It is small but has been successful in preserving its original character than other palaces of the Kathmandu valley. It is most impressive architectural site with complex of temples.

2. Temples

Different types of temple architecture have developed in Nepal since few hundred years. It is a mixed type of architecture represented by multi roofed temples, Shikharas style temples, monasteries, Patis, Chaityas, palaces, residential houses. All these represent a unified and comprehensive character which has earned for them a distinctive terminology of Nepalese architecture. As in other countries the development of a distinct Nepali style of architecture is reflected in Nepal’s religious buildings. Among many styles of architecture, the multi roofed temples or even the houses are known as traditional architecture which is named as the Nepalese or the Newari architecture also.
The most impressive characteristics of the architectural complex in Nepal are represented by temples in association with palaces and residential houses. The complex of temples is clearly visible in the durbar square of Patan. The durbar square area possesses tiered temples as well as cithara temples. The durbar square of Patan with rich cultural and architectural heritage occupies a central position in the city scope. In 1928 Perceval London very much appreciated this square “as an ensemble, the durbar square in Patan probably remains the most picturesque collection of buildings that has been set up in so small place by the piety and pride of an oriental man.”
Temples are constructed not only in durbar square complex but in other parts of the city core also. Patan is a living example of religious harmony. So one can find Hindu temple and Buddhist Chaityas in a same complex standing together. In this report only the multi roofed temples and the stone temple (Shikhara) have been discussed.

2.1 Multi Roofed Temples

The multi roofed temples commonly interpreted a pagodas are different from other religious buildings. These temples are identified with roofs of decreasing dimension, stacked one above another constituting a traditional style. It is very difficult to say about the Origin of this temple style. Buildings with tiered roof were already known in both India and China before the time of Christ, and it is assumed that the influence of Indian architecture is there in traditional Nepalese architecture. Although one of the Chinese travelers has described in 7th century that Nepali method of tiering the roof was new to them.
It is believed that these temples existed in Nepal from the beginning of the Christian era. These types of temples are built of brick, mud and timber. Although the residential building and temples are built of same materials they differ in conceptual aspects. These types of building are generally square in plan, sometimes rectangular and very rarely octagonal in plan. They are generally raised on a high plinth. The roofs number of these temples varies from one to five. Majority of temples are one to three roofed. Four and five roofed are very rare. For example Bhagbati temple of Nala and Harisiddhi temple of Lalitpur are the only two temples with four tiers. Similarly there are only two five tiered temple, Nyatapole of Bhaktapur and Kumbheshwor of Lalitpur.
Altogether 87 pagoda temples have been identified in this report; these temples have been located in the various 22 wards of Lalitpur (Chart 3.1). The ownership description of the temples shows that most of the temples are taken care of by the Guthi, and by the people of certain caste like Amatyas, Rajopadhyas, and Patravansas etc.
Kumbheshwor temple is one of the five tiered temples and is dated the oldest one from 1391 when it was completed by JayastHiti Malla with two tiers. Srinivas Malla later added three tiers to it making it five tiered. The temple is noted for its fine proportions and elegant woodcarvings. This temple is classified as of international importance that is in “A” category.
The location of the monuments shows that most of the pagoda temples are located in the core city area and the monument zone. The majority of the tiered temples lie in ward no 22 (Kumbheshwor area), 18 and 11 (Durbar Square Area) and 19. The detail information regarding the monuments, its location, ownership and category is given in Annex I.
The monuments in Kathmandu Valley have been categorized according to the Ancient Monument Act 2013, 5th Amendment as given in the Table 3.1.

Descriptions of Some important temples

A. Kumveshwore Temple

The Kumveshwore Temple is said to date from 1391 when it was completed by JayastHiti Malla, making it the oldest extant temple in Patan (Figure 3.5).The temple is noted for its fine proportions and elegant woodcarvings. There are numerous statues and sculptures around the courtyard, from the Lichhavis to the Mallas, including a particularly fine Ganesh figure. The temple is, however, dedicated to Lord Shiva, as indicated by the large Nandi (bull), facing the temple inside the main entrance.
The temple platform has two ponds whose water is said to come straight from the holy lake at Gosainkunda, a long trek north of the valley. An annual ritual bath in the Kumveshwore Temple’s tank is claimed to be as meritorious as making the arduous walk to Gosainkunda.
Thousands of pilgrims visit the temple during the Janai Purnima festival in July and August each year to worship the silver and gold lingam which is set up in the tank while members of the Brahmin and Chhetri castes replace the sacred thread they wear looped over their left shoulder. Jhankris beating drums and wearing colorful headdresses and skirts dance around the temple to complete the dramatic scene.

B. Rato Machhindranath Temple

The Rato (Red) Machhindranath temple, the god of rain and plenty comes in a variety of incarnations (Figure 3.6). To Buddhists he is the Tantric edition of Avalokiteshvara while to Hindus he is another version of Shiva. The temple’s four elaborately carved doorways are each guarded by lion figures and at ground level on the four corners of the temple plinth are reliefs of a curious yeti-like creature. A diverse collection of animals (including peacocks, horses, bulls, lions, elephants, and fish) top the pillars facing the northern side of the months of the year. The metal roof is supposed by struts, each showing Avalokiteshvara standing above figures being tortured in hell. Prayer wheels are set into the base of the temple.
The Machhindranath image is just a crudely carved piece of red-painted wood, but each year during the Rato Machhindranath celebrations it is paraded around the town on a temple chariot. The complex celebration moves the image from place to place over a period of several weeks in the month of Baishakh (April/May), finally ending at Jawalakhel where the chariot is disassembled.
Occurring on a 12 year cycle the procession continues out of Patan to the village of Bungamati, 5 km to the south. Dragging the heavy Chariot along this bumpy and often uphill track is no easy feat.

2.2 Stone Temples

The Shikhara shrines are much smaller in number than the sloping roof and multi roofed temples. Even so most of them date from medieval period. Though the multi roofed style were more prominent and prevalent in the Kathmandu valley it co existed with Shikhara style. The Shikhara is interpreted as mountain peak towered temple generally made of stone and some times brick believed to have been developed in Gupta India about 6th century A.D.
The elementary form of the temple is a small square cellar surmounted by a tapering tower together symbolizing caves and mountains. The temple is usually elevated on a steeped plinth followed by a number of molded courses. In most cases, small Deval is attached on all four sides of the main tower. Sometimes two or three small Devals are built in all sides of the tower at the ground level. The main Shikhara tapers on the top and terminates in a flattened ripped disc known as Amalaka. The Gajur is surmounted on the top of the Amalaka.
The best example of the Shikhara shrine made of stone are Cyasing Deval and Krishna Mandir of Patan Durbar Square. Krishna Mandir was built in N.S. 757 (1636 A.D.) by King Siddhinarasimha Malla. This is one of the finest stone structures in whole Nepal. The temple is constructed over three stepped platforms. It has columned arcade circumbulating the ground floor and on the first floor a row of mini Shikharas. The main shrine is located on the first floor. This temple is classified as of international importance that is in “A” category.
Thirty-four stone temples in the city of Lalitpur have been identified. The ownership of the temples is taken by Shresthas, Bajracharyas, Shakyas and Guthi as well. These temples have been categorized into three groups, A, B and C, according to the Ancient Monument Act of 2013 5th Amendment. Most of the stone temples fall in local category that is category “C”. The detail information regarding the stone temples its location, ownership and category are given in Annex I.

2.3 Pati and Gate

There are number of Patis (or Sattals or Chappa), which are the public rest house of the early days in the city of Lalitpur. In early days, apart from providing resting place for the tradesmen and travelers, they used to be the place for socio-cultural gatherings and functions and were important component of the urban settlement.
In early days, the cities and settlements of Kathmandu Valley had a definite city boundary beyond which the expansion rarely occurred. There were well laid roads within them and the major road that lead to places outside the city and surrounding lands would have artistic gates constructed to mark the point of entry and exit to and from the city. In the city of Lalitpur there used to be 21 artistic gates in the city (Annex I). Patan Dhoka that still exists today is one of them.

2.4 Stone Water Conduit

From the ancient times man has always tried to have water nearby. In the same context, the people of Kathmandu valley have managed to bring water through stone water spout. Water spout are highly decorative elements representing the old culture and civilization fulfilling the water demands till date.
Hitis exhibits the glorious past architectural development in urban design of valley cities. Hiti is a legacy of past working till date in many situations showing great engineering feat of our ancestors. Tusa Hiti in Mangal Bazaar is the highest epoch of stone water spout. Manga Hiti is the oldest one dating 570 A.D (492 Baisakh)
The water spouts were designed with their own source, often in the hinterland of the Patan city. There existed extensive network of canals (Rajkulo) for transportation to the city. Large-scale urban reservoirs (Pokhari) also existed which are believed to play an important role in charging ground water table and thus formed an important element of the entire water network consisting of Hitis and wells. Naricha, Nayekhyo, KhwayeBaha has been confirmed as major aquifers in Laitpur.
In Lalitpur there are fifty six stone water spouts (source: LSMC). Of these, 28 of are running satisfactorily and there is sufficient amount of water flow in the taps. There is very little flow of water in 12 but it increases during the rainy season. There is no flow of water in 4 water spouts and thus requires proper maintenance including cleaning of the source. The rest are said to have been filled up and covered according to the local people. However, some of these could also be restored for cultural preservation if not for functional use. The location and condition and distribution of the spouts in each ward are given in Annex I.

2.5 Pond (Pokhari) and Well

There are altogether 25 Ponds (Pokharis). Major ones are Prayag, Jawaklakhel and PimBahal Pokhari. in the past there used to be many more ponds within the historic city of Lalitpur, which were a vital element of its traditional water supply system. However, many of them have vanished due to drying up, encroachment, and lack of proper maintenance and attention.
As a vital element of traditional water supply system, the city of Lalitpur has 226 wells, many of which are in good condition. However, these wells do not include those built in recent times by the individuals. The traditional wells were often located at courtyards and public spaces and used by the whole community, only few were private owned.

2.6 Ashoka Stupa

According to legend five Stupas were built by Ashoka, the Mauryan King of India, while he was visiting Patan on a pilgrimage. At that time Nepal was ruled by the Kirati Kings. These Stupas were often built upon a mound of earth covered with grass. The four Ashokan Stupas in Lalitpur are at Lagankhel in the south, Imadol in the east, IBahi in the north and Pulchowk in the west.

2.7 Bahal and Bahi

The Newar Buddhist Monastery, with its associated cult objects, is the focus of Buddhism in Patan. The monastery has developed out of an ancient Buddhist design, consisting of a two storey building made up of open halls around a square courtyard. This courtyard is characteristically set back from the road, contrasting from the Hindu temples set up on a multiple plinths in the street and at the crossroads. The Bahals consists of Buddha shrine opposite to the entrance, and sometimes there is also a Ganesh or even a Harati temple.
The Newar Buddhist monasteries have at least one and usually many Chaityas. These are the basic Buddhist cult object, depicting Buddhas on its four sides, and whose forms have gone through long and complex architectural and iconographic evolutions. There are 16 main Bahals in Patan followed with 13 Bahis. Both Bahal and Bahis areas have also been classified according to the national and international importance in category A, B and C.
According to DOA Kwa Baha, UkuBaha, HaBaha and GujiBaha are classified in category “A” as they have been able to retain the features typical of Baha courtyards. BhincheBaha, BuBaha, SuBaha are classified in category “B”. Similarly TagaBaha, and TaBaha are listed separately and classified as category “C”. The ownership of majority of the Bahals belongs to the Sangha.
The most ancient architectural form is preserved in the Bahi type. Bahi, which have retained their classic form, are CikaBahi, IbaBahi, JyaBahi, NakaBahi, NhaykaBahi, UbaBahi, IBahi, PintuBahi and KontiBahi. Many Bahis are in a state of collapse. Among these are KhvayBahi, KhvayBahi Cidhagu, IlaBahi and KinuBahi. Some Bahis have been taken over by their members. This has happened in Mul GuitaBahi, GustalaBahi, ThapaBahi, DhapagaBahi and Kvecvagu etc.
PintuBahi, NakaBahi, NhaykaBahi are classified in category “A”. Although in bad state of repair Pintu Bahi preserves the most typical architectural features of Bahi architecture.

2.8 Description of Vihars

A. Shankerdev Samskarita Mayurvarna Mahavihara (Bhinche Baha)

BhincheBaha is located north-east of Sundhara. This Baha has a large courtyard, brick paved and well maintained. The main shrine of Kwapadyo consists of three storey pagoda with a pinnacle or Gajura. The shrines main entrance faces west. The courtyard is decorated with Dharmadhatumandala, Vajradhatu, three Chaityas, and one Chaitya Stambha. The Sansrit name for this Bahal is “Shankerdev Samskarit Mayurvarna Mahavihar”.

B. Indradev SamskaritaJay Manohar Varma Mahavoihara (Su Baha)

Su Baha is considered as one of the ten most ancient Bahas. This Bahal is situated in an entirely closed courtyard in Su Baha Tole, one of the oldest parts of Patan. Two Licchavi Chaityas are found in the Baha, which has an inscription on it. The inscription does not mention the Baha but its presence indicates the antiquity of the site. The main shrine of the Baha faces west with its entrance marked by two stone lions and two bells. The shrine has well carved struts and the courtyard retains its Pasukajhyah with representation of Buddha above.
The Baha is taken care of by the Sangha which is initiated by the Sixty Shakyas. The members of the Sangha take turn every eight days, from eldest to youngest to serve as Dyopalas. Originally the site of the Bahal is said to be a cremation Ghat.

C. Baladhar Gupta SamskaritaBaladhar Gupta Mahavihara (Yachhu Bahal)

YachhuBaha is said to have been founded by Baladhar Gupta and named after him as Baladhar Gupta Mahavihara. This is a small Baha situated in a courtyard just north of the Sundhara area. The Baha is taken care of by the Sangha members. There is one Sangha of five initiated members. They take turns serving as a Dyopala in the temple of Kwapadyo . The annual festival of the Baha is celebrated on the full moon day of the month of Magh. Very little is known about the history of this Bahal. Some say that the orphaned people of Uku Bahal had no means of support so they were given this Bahal as means of support. The Baha was then renovated with the help of the Uku Baha Sangha.

D. Divya diwakar SamskaritaShree Vaisyavarna Mahavihara (Guji Baha)

Guji Baha was founded by Vaisya Diwakar Varma. This Baha is located in Sundhara area. The Licchavi style Chaitya mark the north entrance of the Bahal. The earliest of this Bahal is given on the manuscript of N.S. 373 (1253 A.D.) from the time of Abhay Malla. The main shrine of Kwapadyo is a well preserved three-storied shrine. The Baha is taken care of by the Sangha members. The Sangha of this Bahal consists of about 150 Shakyas. They serve as Dyopalas in the Kwapadyo shrine in order of seniority in fifteen days interval. The priest of Bu Bahal performs the rituals whenever a Bajracharya is required.

E. Shivadev Samskarita Rudravarna Mahavihara (Uku Bahal)

Uku Baha was founded by Shivadeva Varma. The Bahal was said to be later renovated by Rudradev so it is named as “Shivadev Samskarita Rudravarna Mahavihara”. The Bahal was established in Wankuli area so also known as Wankuli Bihar. Later the name changed to Wankuli- Unkuli- Uku Bahal. This is one of the best-preserved Bahals of Patan with the second largest Sangha and greatest number of branches. It is said that the residents of this Bahal are shifted to a separate place so that the Bahal could be preserved as a shrine.
The main shrine of Kwapadyo is facing north with two-gilded copper roof. The Kwapadyo is a statue of Aksobya. The courtyard is full of figures like bronze images, pair of winged horses, Garuda, pair of horned horses, lions. The courtyard also contains the statue of Rana Prime Minister Juddha Shumsher who donated money for the repair of the Bahal after the earthquake in 1934.

F. Balarcana Dev Samskarita Jyesthavarna Mahavihara (Tanga Bahal)

Tanga Baha is also known as Caku Baha. The Sanskrit name of the Baha is “Jyesthavarna Mahavihara”. It is located on the east side of the road leading south from Patan Durbar. The main shrine of the Baha is a small two-tiered freestanding temple within an enclosed courtyard. The main shrine houses a small red image of Padmapani Lokesvara, popularly referred to as Caku Baha Dya or Minnath. Some say that the name is derived from the word Caku, which means molasses, which, is offered to the god. Others speculate that it is derived from Newari word for sparrow (Chakuncha), because the location is supposed to have been chosen by sparrows.
The image is also called the Jatadhari Lokesvara and is the Kwapadyo of the Sangha of the Baha. The shrine of the Baha faces west. The courtyard is full of Chaityas and a Dharmadhatumandala. The northeast corner of the courtyard has an open shrine dedicated to Janmadvara. On the southern side an old building exists which is also known as the Dyochhen of Vasundhara. The earliest inscription found there is dated N.S. 245 (1125 A.D.) which was put there while installing a golden Gajura.

G. Mandeva Samskarita Chakravarna Mahavihara (Cuka Bahal)

The Bahal is situated south of Tangah Baha. This Baha was said to have been founded by King Mandeva I. Although this Baha is one of the oldest Bahals of Patan it now remains as a branch Baha of Kwa Bahal. The Sangha of the Bahal is composed of 26 Bajracharyas who are originally from Nyakhachowk and are members of Sangha of Kwa Bahal.

H. Bhuvanakar Samskarita Dharmakirti Mahavihara (Ta Baha)

TaBaha in Sanskrit is named as "Bhuvanakar Varma Samskarita Dharmakirti Mahavihar”. This Baha is said to have been founded by Bhuvanakar Varma. The Baha house the temple of Rato Machhindranath and Kwapadyo. The Baha and the temple are two separate entities. The shrine of Kwapadyo is located in the southern part and the temple in northern part.
The temple is three storeyed with copper roof and the shrine of Kwapadyo is a simple one. The shrine of Kwapadyo requires maintenance. Most of the houses in the Baha are occupied by the Dyapalas from the Bajracharya family. Some part of the Baha is currently occupied by the Guthi Sansthan office. This Bihar is considered as one of the most ancient Bihars of Patan. The earliest reference of the Baha comes from the inscription of IbaBahi Dated N.S. 547 (1427 A.D.).
I. Laxmi Kalyan Varma SamskaritaRatnakar Mahavihara (Ha Bahal)
Ha Baha is also known as Hakha Bahal or Hatako Baha. This is among the few Bahals of Patan to retain its architectural character. This Baha is also known as Ratnakar Mahavihara and was founded by Laxmi Kalyan Varma. King Siddhinarsing Malla worked for the maintenance of the fifteen Bahals of Patan and Hakha was one of them. It is said that it was the king who shifted this Bahal from Mul Chowk to the location where it is now (N.S. 738-71).
The main shrine of Kwapadyo with three storey is opposite to the entrance. The main entrance is marked by two large lions mounted on stone bases supported by crouching elephants (Figure 3.15). The shrine of the Kwapadyo occupies the southern wing. There is a Licchavi Chaitya in front of the shrine, three Dharmadhatumandalas and a Vajra in the courtyard.
The Baha Sangha consists of three lineages, Bajracharya, and two of Shakyas. When the Bahal shifted from Patan Durbar area, the Bajracharyas refused to move and they left the Sangha and joined the Sangha of Bu Baha. The Sangha of the Bahal take turns serving as Dyopalas. One of the main features of the Sangha of the Baha is that they worship the living goddess of Patan, Kumari. The Kumari is always selected from the families of Ha Baha and whose official residence is in quarters directly behind the Baha complex.
J. Bidhyadharsarma Samskarita Yashodharvarma Mahabihara (Bu Bahal)
Bu Bahal lies off the main road to Patan Durbar in the area of GaBahal (Figure 3.16). The Bahal consists of a large courtyard whose entrance is guarded by two stone lions. To the left side of the entrance facing north is the main shrine which is three storied and in Pagoda style. In Sanskrit the Bahal is called “Bidhyadharsarma Samskarit Yashodharvarma Mahabihar”. The total area covered by Bu Bahal is 4 ropani- 11 Anna- 1 Paisa- 2 Dam. The Bahal is taken care of by the Sangha. Various rituals are performed in this Bahal. The most important one takes place in the second day of the month of Magh. Every three years and during initiation (Barecuyegu), all the sons of the Sangha members assemble in the courtyard to have their horoscopes prepared.

K. Sri Vaccha Mahavihara (Si Baha)

Si Baha is located in a closed courtyard at the western edge of the city. This Baha is also known as Sri Vaccha Mahavihara. This Baha is said to have been established by King Siddhinarsimha Malla and renovated after the great earthquake of 1934. The earliest date associated with this Baha is found in the Pancharaksa manuscript dated N.S. 509 (1389 A.D).
The shrine of Kwapadyo is a well preserved structure with four storeys. The entrance of the shrine is marked by two stone lions. The Kwapadyo is a standing image of Buddha locally referred to as Ratnapani Bodhisattva. The topmost roof pinnacle of the shrine is a Gajura with three guilt Chaityas. There is a Dharmadhatumandala and a Chaitya with circular base in the courtyard.

L. Rudradev Gargagotra Varma Samskarita Dattanama Mahavihara (Dau Baha)

Dau Baha was founded by Rudradev Varma. There are no certain historical evidences about this Bahal. The Bahal was said to have existed during the rule of King Siddhinarsimha Malla and was supported by royal grant. Dau Baha is a fully enclosed courtyard with the entrance of Kwapadyo shrine marked by two stone lions. The shrine is surmounted by a characteristic tower topped by golden finial. The entrance leading to the Baha is defined by a Pati where there are images of Mahankal, Ganesha and Manjushree.

M. Bhaskerdev Samskarita Hiranyabarna Mahavihara (The Golden Temple/ Kwa Bahal)

This is one of the 18 main Bahals of Patan. The Sanskrit name of the Bahal is given as “Bhaskerdev Samskarit Hiranyabarna Mahavihar”. The name of the Bahal was given according to the saying that there was a mouse named Hiranyak with eyes sparkling like diamond. This Bahal is located in Kwalkhu Tole, north-west of Mangalbazaar. Built outside the boundary of the palace of Kirat King Patuk this was called Kwathalakhu Bihar. Later it was called Kwatha Bihar then Kwa Bahal. Nowadays the Bahal is popular by the name of the Golden Temple. The Bihar is said to have been constructed by Bhaskerdev of Medieval Era. This Bahal is famous for the Golden Temple inside the Bahal and has been identified as one of the religious centers of the valley. This Bihar is very well known from the name of “The Golden Temple” all over the world and many tourists come to visit this Bihar. There is always a huge gathering of devotees in the month of Shrawan for various Pujass. People come here to fast as well as request for the reading of the Pragyaparmita.

Pragyaparmita of the Golden Temple

Hiranyabarna Mahavihar is not only a religious area but this is the place where religious book (Grantha s) of Buddhism is recited. This Bihar is famous for one of the main nine Ganthas “Pragyaparmita”. This Grantha was written by a monk named Ananda in B.S. 1282 during the reign of King Abhaya Malla. This Astasahashrika Pragyaparmita is written in golden letters. People believe that this Grantha was kept in this Bihar to protect from evil nature of people. People from various regions come to read this book. From B.S. 1995 this Grantha was kept safe in a box. A separate Guthi has been established for the reading of this religious book. The local people believe that if they ask to carry out the reading of this book once, their every desire will be fulfilled. Nowadays people have to register their names months before for the reading of this book.

N. Guna Laxmi Varma Samskarita Guna Laxmi Mahavihara (Dhum Baha)

Dhum Baha is known by its Sanskrit name Guna Laxmi Mahavihara. The Baha is said to have been founded in the reign of King Siddhinarsimha Malla, but the dated reference of this Baha begins from N.S. 682 (1562 A.D.) after the period of King Siddhinarsimha Malla. DhumBaha lies to the north of the durbar square at Sankhamul in the area known as Ko Baha.
The main shrine of Kwapadyo is a stone image of Aksobya facing north with corrugated roof. In the courtyard are a large votive Chaitya and a mounted Vajra. The Sangha of the Baha consists of 25 Bajracharyas. They perform the usual rituals in the shrine of the Kwapadyo morning and evening. Legend of the Baha says that this Baha serves the members of the ironsmith caste. They believe that Lord Buddha baptized an ironsmith just as he baptized a barber to monkhood in India.

O. Surya Varma Samskarita Vajrakirti Mahavihara (Wam Baha)

Wam Baha is located to the northeast of Patan Durbar. It was founded by Surya Varma and the Sanskrit name is Vajrakirti Mahavihara. The inscription found in the Baha dates back to N.S.561 (1441A.D). The courtyard of the Bahal is brick paved, with a Vajra, votive Chaitya and an old Lichhavi style Chaitya. The houses around the Baha courtyard are occupied by Shakyas and Bajracharyas.
The main Pujas of the Bahal is on the full moon day of Falgun. The annual festival of the Baha used to be observed in Mangsir by the Sangha of this Baha and Jyo Baha, one year at WamBaha and next at JypoBaha.

P. Rudradev Nangapala Samskarita Jyotivarna Mahavihara (Jyo Baha)

History of this Baha not much known. Jyo Baha is said to be founded by Rudradev Nangapala who later named it as Jyotivarna Mahavihara. This Baha is located directly behind the Durbar Square and retains none of its original buildings except the shrine of Kwapadyo . The entrance of the shrine is guarded by two lions.

Everest Facts


Welcome to Mount Everest facts. In this site you will find many informative facts of Mt.Everest and a bit of history. Any facts or history bits you feel should be added, just send an e-mail as usual at the bottom of page..


Age of Everest:

Everest was formed about 60 million years ago

29,035 (8850m)-found to be 6' higher in 1999
Name in Nepal:

Sagarmatha (means: goddess of the sky)
In Tibet:

Chomolungma: (means: mother goddess of the universe)
Named after:

Sir George Everest in 1865 ,the British surveyor-general of India. Once known as Peak 15

Latitude 27° 59' N.....Longitude 86° 56' E It's summit ridge seperates Nepal and Tibet
First Ascent:

May 29,1953 by Sir Edmund Hillary, NZ and Tenzing Norgay, NP, via the South Col Route
First Solo Ascent:

Aug. 20,1980, Reinhold Messner, IT, via the NE Ridge to North Face
First winter Ascent:

Feb. 17,1980 -L.Cichy and K. Wielicki, POL
First Ascent by an American:

May 1,1963, James Whittaker, via the South-Col
Mt. Everest rises a few milimeters each year due to geological forces
Everest Name:

Sir George Everest was the first person to record the height and location of Mt. Everest, this is where Mt."Everest" got its name from(In american language)
First Ascent by a Woman:

May 16,1975, Junko Tabei, JAP, via the South-Col
First Ascent by an American Woman:

Sep.29,1988, Stacey Allison, Portland, OR via the South-East Ridge
First Oxygenless Ascent:

May 8, 1978- Reinhold Messner, IT, and Peter Habeler, AUT, via the South-East Ridge
First woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest from both north & south sides:

Cathy O'Dowd (S.A.) South May 25,1996/North '99
Fastest Ascent from South:

Babu Chhiri Sherpa 34, NP-16 hours and 56 minutes (5-21-2000)
Fastest Ascent (north side):

Hans Kammerlander (IT) May,24,1996, via the standard North Col Ridge Route, 16 hours 45 minutes from base camp
Youngest person:

Temba Tsheri (NP) 15 on May,22,2001
Oldest Person:

Sherman Bull May,25,2001 -64 yrs
First Legally Blind Person:

Erik Weihenmeyer May,25,2001
Most Ascents:

Eleven, 24th May 2000 Appa Sherpa became the first person to climb Everest 11 times-Ten, Ang Rita Sherpa, Babu Chiri Sherpa all ascents were oxygen-less.
Best and Worst Years on Everest:

1993, 129 summitted and eight died (a ratio of 16:1); in 1996, 98 summitted and 15 died (a ratio of 6½:1)
Highest cause cause of death:

Avalanches-about a (2:1) ratio over falls
Country with most deaths on mountain:

Most dangerous area on mountain:

Khumbu Ice Fall-19 deaths
First ski descent:

Davo Karnicar (Slovenia) 10-7-2000
Last year without ascent:

Last year without ascent:

Corpses remaining on Everest:

about 120
Longest stay on top:

Babu Chiri Sherpa stayed at the summit full 21 hours and a half
Largest team:

In 1975, China tackled Everest with a 410-member team.
Fastest descent:

In 1988, Jean-Marc Boivin of France descended from the top in just 11 minutes, paragliding.
Only climber to climb all 4 sides of Everest:

Kushang Sherpa, now an instructor with Himlayan Mountaineering Institute
First person to hike from sea level to summit, no oxygen.:

11th May 1990,Tim Macartney-Snape, Australian
Largest number to reach the top in one day:

40, on May 10, 1993
First person to summit Everest twice:

Nawang Gombu-Nepal(once with Whitaker in '63,and again two years later in '65)Gombu now works for the Himalayan mountaineering institute
The oldest woman to summit

Anna Czerwinska May 22, 2000.