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Elements of Nepalese Temple Architecture

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Item Code: NAM705
Author: Purushottam Dangol
Publisher: Adroit Publishers, Delhi
Language: English
Edition: 2011
ISBN: 9788187392774
Pages: 144 (Throughout Color Illustrations)
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details 10.0 inch x 7.5 inch
Weight 630 gm
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About the Book

This book is about the temple architecture of Nepal. Different elements of tiered temple (Dega) are divided into each chapter. Each chapter is described in detail complemented throughout by detail drawings and information are collected from diverse sources as well as from the keen observation and experience of the author while working on design of temple.


About the Author

Purusottam Dangol is former deputy director general in the Department of Urban Development and Building Construction. He did his Bachelor of Architecture from Bhopal University, India in 1984. He received his Post Graduate Diploma in Urban Survey in 1994 and later Master's Diploma in Geo information for Urban Planning in 1998 from ITC, The Netherlands. He started his career as an architect in the Department of Urban Development and building Construction. He was involved in design of various types of major government buildings and private buildings. he is also involved in traditional Architecture of Kathmandu Valley. He has published various articles about traditional Architecture of Kathmandu Valley in various Architectural Magazines.



The magnificent temples of Kathmandu Valley clearly depict the outstanding development of craftsmanship in the field of wood, metal and stone during the Lichchavi and Malia period. These temples have historical, religious, cultural and economic significance as it contributes to local economy through tourism promotion. In fact, Nepal is known throughout the world as a kingdom full of innumerable temples dedicated to different gods and goddesses. Although these temples vary one from another in terms of size and shape but they are all based on certain religious principles and values as well as architectural norms of ancient times. It is widely believed that temples which do not heed to such principles will not deliver the expected benefits. It is also equally interesting to observe the precision in the construction of the temples despite the absence of sophisticated tools and equipments in the past. The traditional unique technology of the ancient period which enabled such construction needs to be studied and preserved. And this could be the potential area of research for future.

Against this backdrop, the conservation of these temples hardly needs any further justifications. Some of these temples have already been included in the World Heritage Site such as the temple of Changu Narayan and Pashupati Nath. Therefore, the inclusion of these temples in the World Heritage Site further necessitates the need for their conservation and preservation of our own national identity and culture.

The studies on temple architecture are comparatively very few therefore an attempt has been made in this book to describe all the important elements of temple in detail as far as possible. Moreover, while describing each element, an effort has also been made to familiarize the readers with traditional way of constructing the temples as well as cited relevant manuscripts whenever possible for further study and research.

It is expected that this book will be of great interest and use not only to the architects and technicians but also to the general readers interested in the study of temple architecture.

I am grateful to Adroit Publisher, in particular, Mr. D.K. Sharma, for kindly undertaking the burden of publication of this book. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Mr. Dibyeswar Prasad Shrestha, Senior Economist, Department of Urban Development and Building Construction, for his moral support and help.

Finally, I would also like to extend my heartfelt thanks to Mr. Gauri Shankar Dongol, Mr. Ramesh Sthapit, Mr. Raja Shakya and Mr. Sarad Kasa for their help in the completion of this book in an efficient manner.




  Transliteration 5
  Preface 9
  List of Plates 13
  List of Figures 15
1 Introduction 17
2 Traditional Construction Technique 25
3 Pinnacle (Gajura) 43
4 Roof 51
5 Strut 63
6 Cornice and String Course 79
7 Window 83
8 Torana 93
9 Door and Doorframes 101
10 Column (Tha) 109
11 Plinth 119
  Appendices 127
1 Key to the identification of major gods and goddesses (R.S.Gupte) 127
2 Keytothe identification of Planets (Grahas). (R.S.Gupte) 130
3 Keytothe identification of Vishnu Incarnations. (R.S.Gupte) 131
4 Typical Hand poses (mudras) 133
5 Manuscripts 134
6 Patterns of Decoration 139
7 नमः अष्ट मातृका देव्यै 141
  Bibliography 142


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