Art and culture
Art and culture
Nepal's cultural landscape is every bit as diverse as its physical one. Its peoples belong to a host of distinctive ethnic groups, and speak a host of languages. They live in everything from dense, ancient cities erupting with pagoda-roofed Hindu temples to villages perched on dizzying sweeps of rice-farming terraces and dusty highland settlements clustered around tiny monasteries.
The Kathmandu city has a rich history, spanning nearly 2000 years, as inferred from inscriptions found in the valley. Religious and cultural festivities form a major part of the lives of people residing in Kathmandu. Most of Kathmandu's people follow Hinduism and many others follow Buddhism. There are people of other religious beliefs as well, giving Kathmandu a cosmopolitan culture. Nepali is the most commonly spoken language in the city. English is understood by Kathmandu's educated residents.
Kathmandu valley is described as "an enormous treasure house of art and sculptures", which are made of wood, stone, metal, and terracotta, and found in profusion in temples, shrines, stupas, gompas, chaityasm and palaces. The art objects are also seen in street corners, lanes, private courtyards and in open ground. Most art is in the form of icons of gods and goddesses. Kathmandu valley has art treasure for a very long time.
Bhaktapur is the city of rich culture, ancient temples, and fine, intricate carvings. Bhaktapur, with its medieval alleys and famous wood carvings, is an essential visit on your tours to Nepal. Bhaktapur contains enchanting alleyways, charming courtyards and ancient houses. Located 14 km in the east corner of Kathmandu on the old trade route to Tibet. charming red brick houses and a way of life that goes back to medieval times. This ancient city is also famous for pottery and woodcarving amply displayed on the squares and windows respectively. Bhaktapur showcases the very best of Nepal’s ancient charms, in particular the culture and work of the Newari people (the indigenous people of the Kathmandu valley). This place was founded in the 9th century and is shaped like a conch shell. The city is at the height of 4600 ft. Above sea level. In Bhaktapur you will visit the Durbar Square with its array of temples overlooked by the palace of 55 Windows built by King Bupatindra Malla, the Nytapola Teple. This temple, which was also built by king Bhupatindra Malla, is the best example of the Pagoda style and stands on five terraces, on each of which stands a pair of figures, famous strong men, elephants, lions, griffins and goddesses. Time permitting, a visit to the museum of Thanka painting can also be considered. A 30 minute walk brings you to the Dattatraya temple and Pujari Math which can also be done provided there is plenty of time at the clients' disposal. It is also known for its traditional clay pottery, clay masks and wooden crafts. Bhaktapurfounded by King Ananda Dev in 889 A.D.
The ancient name of Patan is Lalitpur which means a city of beauty. It is indeed a city of beauty and grace and is planned on a circular format with Buddhist stupas at each of the four points of the compass. The city is three Kilometers south-east of Kathmandu across the river Bagmati. Like Kathmandu, its center of attraction is Durbar Square complex, situated right in the middle of the market place. The city is full of Buddhist monuments and Hindu temples with fine bronze gateways, guardian deities and wonderful carvings. Noted for its craftsmen and metal workers, it is also know as the city of artists. It is believed that the city has been built during the reign of Vira Dev in 299 A.D.
Patan, also known as ‘Lalitpur’, the city of artisans, and is home to the valley’s finest craftsmen who have preserved such ancient techniques as the repoussé and lost wax process used to produce exquisite sculptures. The city retains much of the old charm with its narrow streets, brick houses and multitude of well-preserved Hindu temples, Buddhist monasteries (vihars) and monuments. The predominant sound in Patan is that of the tinkering of craftsmen bent over the statuettes they are shaping. As in Kathmandu, Hinduism and Buddhism have co-existed here for ages, influencing each other, and the religious harmony is exemplary.
This city presents a potpourri of finest traditional crafts and rich artistic heritage. We will see Patan Durbar Square, Mahaboudha Temple, Kumbeshwor temple, Krishna Temple, Golden Temple or Hiranya Varna Mahavihar, Mulchowk, Jagat Narayan Temple, Big Bell, Pillar of Yognarendra Malla, Hari Shanker temple, Vishwanath temple, Bhimsen temple, Marga Hiti, Mani Mandap, Café Pagoda, Rato Machhendra Temple, Minnath, Rudra Varna Mahavihar etc are the major attractions of Patan.
Siddhartha Gautama, the Lord Buddha, was born in 623 B.C. in the famous gardens of Lumbini, which soon became a place of pilgrimage.The Shakya prince and the ultimate Buddha, the Enlightened One, is the pilgrimage destination of the world’s millions of people faithful to all schools of Buddhism.UNESCO lists this nativity site, identified by Indian Emperor Ashoka’s commemorative pillar as a World Heritage Site. The main attraction of Lumbini remains the Sacred Garden which spread over 8sq km, possessing all the treasures of the historic area. The Mayadevi temple is the main attraction for pilgrims and archaeologists alike.
Most popular of them are- Peace Pagoda, Lumbini Garden, Maya Devi Temple, Tara Foundation, World China Temple, Thai Monastery, Burmese (Myanmar) Temple, Nepal Buddha Temple and Dharmaswami Buddhist monastery are the major attractions of Lumbini.
Tharu Cultural Dance / Program
The Tharu people of Chitwan welcome guests by performing dance and singing in the evening, famous Tharu stick dances, The fire dance and the other dance are highlights which reflects their life styles.