Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Historical city: Bhaktapur – Part I

By Sabin Chakradhar

Bhaktapur is one of the oldest and well preserved cities of Nepal and also one of the most beautiful and mystical. As I have spent more than half of my life in this city, I decided to give you a glimpse of the city and city dwellers in this blog. Bhaktapur city is based on the grid iron pattern with series of row housings and mostly narrow streets: so narrow that the single car can hardly pass through. Each of these narrow streets lead to an open courtyard where you can see people engaged in their daily activities like drying the rice, making pottery, carving the wooden windows etc. ‘Newars’ the natives of the city are very creative people, their skill in wood carving and pottery are famous throughout the country (and yes I am a ‘Newar’ too). Moreover, the traditional Newari architecture has some unique styles and identity which is able to attract the tourists from all around the world. Besides the famous ‘Nyatapola temple’ and ‘Pachpanna jhyale durbar’ (55-windowed palace), city possess the rich culture, traditional rituals and customs, textures and so much more that you will just fall in love at first sight.
Few decades back, along with other historic cities, Bhaktapur was losing its historic fabric due to urban expansion and modernization. But with the help of German organization and the local municipality, the city went through major conservational interventions and was able to revive its values once again. Currently, the city has a separate byelaws and building codes that encourages the locals towards the conservation of the old structures as well as to consider the architectural languages when the build the new structures.
In next blog, I will explain some more about the public places, durbar squares and the temples of the city. Stay tuned.

Image 1: Nyatapola temple and square

Image 2: Bhaktapur durbar square and 55 window palace
Image 3: typical street of Bhaktapur with the curio shops

No comments:

Post a Comment