Nepal unveils newly restored XNUMXth-century Buddhist monument near Kathmandu

- through Henry Oudin

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Lalitpur Mayor Chiri Babu Maharjan and Indian Ambassador to Nepal Naveen Srivastava during the inauguration ceremony on Monday. From

Nepal on Monday held an official ceremony to inaugurate the recently restored Shree Napichandra Mahavihara, a XNUMXth-century Buddhist shrine and monastery, popularly known as Duntu Bahi, in the historic town of Lalitpur in the Kathmandu Valley in about seven kilometers east of the capital. .

Napichandra Mahavihara was severely damaged during the massive earthquakes that shook Nepal on April 25 and May 12, 2015, killing nearly 9 people, injuring more than 000 and displacing millions. The devastation also extended to hundreds of ancient buildings, monasteries and temples.

The inauguration ceremony was led by Lalitpur Mayor Chiri Babu Maharjan and Indian Ambassador to Nepal Naveen Srivastava. The restoration of the historic site was undertaken at a cost of 38,4 million Nepalese rupees (US$288), funded by the Indian government's Post-Earthquake Reconstruction Grant for Nepal's Cultural Heritage Sector, and with the technical assistance from the Indian National Trust for Art and Culture. Heritage (INTACH), local media said.


During his opening remarks at the ceremony, the Indian Ambassador highlighted the strong ties and strong cooperation between India and Nepal, noting that the two nations shared historical cultural commonalities and a rich heritage which should be protected.

“India and Nepal have historical cultural similarities and heritage that need to be preserved for our future generations,” the ambassador noted. “Therefore, our joint effort is to restore these heritage sites. India is working with Nepal for restoration of cultural heritage projects. (Himalayas)

The Mayor of Lalitpur expressed his gratitude to the Ambassador for the initiatives to conserve Indian heritage in Lalitpur and elsewhere in Nepal. He described India's assistance to post-earthquake reconstruction efforts in Nepal as unparalleled.


India has provided support for the reconstruction of half a dozen heritage sites in Lalitpur that were damaged in the 2015 earthquake, the ministry said. Herald of the Deccan the newspaper reported. The Indian government has also pledged to help conserve 28 cultural heritage sites across seven districts of Nepal, according to a report published in Himalayas journal.

Lalitpur is famous throughout the world for its remarkable wealth of ancient cultural heritage sites as well as its traditional arts and crafts which are still practiced today. With a multi-ethnic population of around 300, 000 percent Hindu and 72 percent Buddhist, religious and cultural activities are an important part of the city's daily life.

Lalitpur was originally laid out as the dharmachakra, the Buddhist Wheel of Dharma, comprising five main stupas, one at each of the cardinal points and one in the center, believed to have been erected by the Mauryan emperor Ashoka in 250 BCE. The city is home to the famous Patan Durbar Square, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979, and is one of the seven integrated monument areas that make up the Kathmandu Valley World Heritage Site.

Napichandra Mahavihara is located north of Patan Durbar Square. Although much of the original structure was destroyed in an earthquake in 1934, the main sanctuary was rebuilt in the 1980s and the adjoining structure in 2013. The monastery building consists of a central sunken courtyard surrounded by the main sanctuary building. As part of the Indian government's draft plan for its conservation strategy to restore the monument, it has been proposed to reconstruct the shrine building using traditional materials and construction methods.


Although officially a secular nation, Nepal is extremely diverse in terms of religious beliefs and traditions. Although a clear majority of Nepalis identify as Hindu (81,2%, according to 2021 national census data), there are a multitude of other religious adherents. Buddhism represents the second largest segment of the population at 8,2 percent, Islam 5,1 percent, Kirat Mundhum 3,2 percent and Christianity 1,8 percent. Nature worship, Bon, Sikhism and Jainism each make up well under 1% of the population.

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Henry Oudin

Henry Oudin is a Buddhist scholar, spiritual adventurer and journalist. He is a passionate seeker of the depths of Buddhist wisdom, and travels regularly to learn more about Buddhism and spiritual cultures. By sharing his knowledge and life experiences on Buddhist News, Henry hopes to inspire others to embrace more spiritual and mindful ways of living.

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