By Jabina Shrestha
Kirtipur as a fort town was established according to “Sadhya Kosh Saar” i.e. water-body on the outer periphery, fort wall. The Kirtipur town was designed in the social hierarchy according to which; the Pradhans and Amatyas (ministers) lived in the central Layaku (palace complex). Similarly, other trades-men & service men were radiating to outward zone. Jyapus (farmers), Manandhars (oil-pressers), and Tandukaars (royal palanquin-bearers) were placed on the outskirts.
During the Malla rule, the defense wall was constructed around the wall with 12 main entrances/gates. Prior to 12th century there was another defense wall that falls within the present wall and confines a smaller areas of the upper portion and surrounds gwa-pukhu, nayaga choga, manatwa, chilancho and bhariya-pukhu. This shows that Kirtipur was a growing city but after 1987 as the built up areas increased and houses began to be built on cultivating land, the fortified walls were destroyed to accommodate denser population. The green belt around the city not only protected it from foreign invasion but also gave firewood to the people. The density of trees helped in balancing the environmental ecology, thus giving healthy and safe life to the civilians.
The whole site is classified as monumental zone, traditional residential zone, new development zone, eco- zone, educational zone, service zone and new housing zone. The monumental zone includes the areas of Bagh Bhairav Temple, Chilancho Stupa and Uma-Maheshwor Temple. The traditional residential zone includes the surrounding periphery revealing some of the traditional character in buildings around the monumental zone, which can also be termed as transitional zone. The new development zone is the area of Naya-Bazaar where the encroachment of modern construction is rapid and excessive. This is the mixed zone of residential and commercial purposes. Then is the Eco-zone with open spaces and dense trees, which have balance the ecology of that place. The area towards the east of Kirtipur hill where exits the Tribhuvan University is termed as the educational zone. The area with the public services like telecom office, water supply office, electricity office and municipal offices are designated as service zone. As the population of the town is rising and in few years, the people will be searching new destination for dwellings, the area near to Kirtipur valley like Panga, Nagaon can be termed as new housing zone.