Looking through Ancient Nepal

Bhaktapur and Madhyapur Thimi are the two ancient and historical Newari towns around Kathmandu and are the centre of Newar culture. Known for its indigenous style of architecture, these towns are inhabited by the Newari community who abides by their cultural and religious convictions. The cultural identity of these towns mostly constitutes various dimensions of Newari tradition including its festivals, lifestyle, clothing, food, but what stands out the most among these aspects of their culture is the Newari architecture. It is a style used in buildings ranging from houses, stupas, monastery buildings, and courtyard structures. The style is marked by striking brickwork and a unique style of wood carving rarely seen outside Nepal. All the houses have one thing in common, an elaborately designed carved wooden window which is the distinguishing feature of these houses. The popularity of these ornate windows have said to be peaked during the 18th century and has been described as a symbol of Newar culture and artistry. The particularly rich design features deities, cultural symbols, mythical creatures, and some characteristic Nepali patterns.

I went to these towns in April when it was the time of New Year celebrations in Nepal. Though there was a language barrier for me, smile and gestures were my language to communicate with locals and photograph these beautiful towns and its life. While these old historical towns are aesthetically beautiful, the real beauty is the local community who have kept these places alive.

© Garima Agarwal 2020