Culture and architecture of Nepal

The main feature of the architecture of this amazing mountainous country is its close connection with religion. Almost all ancient structures and monuments in Nepal are Hindu or Buddhist shrines. More than 80 nationalities live on the territory of the state, which differ among themselves not only in language and beliefs, but even in skin color, hence the mixture of styles in clothing, culture and architecture, which can be observed everywhere in the capital and large cities of Nepal.

The architecture of Nepal is usually divided into three large groups: the Stupa style, the Pagoda style and the Shikhara style. Without a doubt, Swayambunat belongs to the legendary stupas of Nepal.It is located in the northwestern part of Kathmandu, on a hill where, according to legend, the Earth was born from the lotus seed thrown by Shiva. Scientists believe that it is more than two millennia. In addition to it, it is worth noting one of the most magnificent Buddhist monuments on the planet – the Budnath stupa. In diameter, this landmark reaches a hundred meters, and rises to a height of forty. The Pagoda style is represented by the capital’s Kastamandap Temple, the world’s only surviving 12th century wooden building. The long life of this unique temple is explained by the fact that it is made of the trunk of a solid tallow tree – Shoreya the Giant. Some historians believe that the name of the ancient shrine (translated as a house made of wood) gave the name to the capital of Nepal, Kathmandu. Also, the nine-story Basantrup Palace built by King Prithvi Narayan Shah and the Pashupatinath complex with the famous two-tier golden roof and silver doors are also related to the pagoda style. The latter is one of the most revered temples in Nepal. Pilgrims from all over the world come here – followers of the god Shiva. In addition, this temple is famous among tourists for its erotic carvings. Shikhara is translated from Sanskrit as “mountain peak”, the famous Krishna temple in Lalitpur belongs to this style.

The oldest examples of literature in the world have survived in Nepal – the very first texts inscribed on stones in Sanskrit date back to the middle of the 1st century AD. The first works in the Nepali language were created in the 17th and 18th centuries.

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