The inborn artists of Nepal also the original ethnical tribe of Kathmandu Valley, who are known for their love towards arts and carnivals, Newars are the accredited artists for the historic Newa architecture seen in and around various stupas, temples and courtyards of Kathmandu Valley and beyond.
The indigenous patterns of arts manifested in several wonderful monuments of Nepal, Newa Architecture is possibly the best artwork done in bricks incredibly blended with the unique style of woodcarving. The fascinating Newa Architecture inside Kathmandu can be observed in the Durbar Squares of Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur, temples like Pashupatinath and Nardevi among others and also in the palace of recently overthrown Royals of Nepal.
The glory of Newa Architecture has gone beyond the valley; Muktinath Temple in the foothill of Annapurna Region in Nepal is also the religious monument built in Newari Style. Centuries ago, few Nepalese artists including Araniko exported the unique Newa Architecture and the concept of stupas to few neighboring nations and hence, to see the monuments like of Nepal beyond Nepal is never a surprise.
Every part of the Newa Architecture either in the whole building or in the part of it, a long and careful work manifests specific meaning and holds special significance. While exploring around Patan Durbar Square, I fell in love with the Newari Architecture. Every corner of this UNESCO World Heritage was tantalizing me, with its unparallel beauty, designed and engraved skillfully in the wood.
I saw an exemplary woodcarving that had iconographic and decorative motifs. I was even more captivated with the artistic windows, columns and the struts- a lot of incredible woodwork that definitely required a huge passion towards arts, immense creativity and hell of a hard work. I mean who would put so much effort and wait for years just for the house they built to live in.
Definitely, the kings- kings of petty kingdoms inside Nepal during medieval and ancient ages were in the state of Art War. As a result, so many artistically opulent monuments were built and undoubtedly, the creators of these arts were the indigenous artists of the Valley- the Newars.
Visiting inside the Museum of Patan Durbar Square explains why the place is much more than the monuments. The architectural idea of the door or the window looked like an individual building with freestanding columns that supported the roof like structure lying atop a large and artistic base like of a building. The window had a very small ventilation that connected inside to the outside world, however very well represented a concept of decoration and the function. Artistic wooden struts supported the building firmly and the columns on the ground floor arcades of temples, palaces and shelters were equally decorated in their every corner.
The rectangular or the square bahals surrounded the entire monuments with the chaityas (a praying place) and wells at its center in most of the monuments. The entire floor was exquisite; either wooden or paved with stone or bricks. The corridors as if maze from one room to other and the narrow wooden ladders up and down the floors- everything represented the elegance of medieval Nepal. The iconographic and decorative motifs over spilt.
The water tap in the middle of courtyard crafted so beautifully had golden color mouth and the Goddess boarded over it. The tap surrounded by the artistically carved idols of serpents and different deities had a mini- Krishna Temple right over it. Moreover, the statues of stones, metals and woods of different eras are very well preserved and have an easy access for thorough exploration.
Patan Durbar Square is much more than medieval and ancient edifices and shrines. The vicinity inside less than one sq.km truly cater the glimpses of ancient civilization in the region. The visitors interacting with the locals and locals indulged in their regular life- it is great experience to stroll in the stone paved historic site, Patan Durbar Square. Plus, the most important factor that a traveler can experience during the tour of heritage city in Nepal is that they get to see the traditional lifestyles of Newars, who have believed in their culture for ages and practice till date.
Trip Report based on Field Visit made by Explore Himalaya’s Content writer/Editor Jeeten Thapa and his associate Brijesh Lamichhane.
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