Kirtipur_front_cover_SMALLER_FILEKIRTIPUR: an Urban Community in Nepal -

its People, Town Planning, Architecture and Arts  

Contributors: Marc Barani, Padam B. Chhetri, Robin Lal Chitrakar, Chris Miers, Shankar M. Pradhan, Gauri Nath Rimal,  Ramendra Raj Sharma, Mehrdad Shokoohy, Natalie H. Shokoohy, Sukra Sagar Shrestha, Uttam Sagar Shrestha,  Sudarshan Raj Tiwari

Edited by Mehrdad Shokoohy and Natalie H. Shokoohy
London, Publication date  1994
258 pp. 150 monochrome plates, 17 maps, 38 architectural drawings, 18 inscriptions, 10 graphs and tables, glossary, bibliography, index. Reprinted on glossy Art Paper with enhanced images.

ISBN: 978-1-870606-02-8 Hardback

PRICE: £43.00 plus p&p   US$58.00 plus p&p

SPECIAL OFFER: £10.00 plus p&p;    US$14.00 plus p&p if ordered directly from Araxus together with Street Shrines of Kirtipur

In conjunction with the launch of Street Shines of Kirtipur, Nepal: as long as the sun and moon endure we are offering this earlier publication at a special discount for a limited period.

A lovelier spot than this the heart of man could scarce desire
The Kathmandu Valley in Nepal was thus described by Sir Henry Montgomery Lawrence (1806-1857), the British Resident in the mid-19th century. Kirtipur is the fourth largest town of the Kathmandu Valley and an early description of the town appears in Ambrose Oldfield’s 1880 account: “Kirtipur in the early history of Nepal was the capital of a small independent principality, but it was afterwards annexed to Patan. It stands in a commanding position upon the level crest of one of the low rounded hills … and overlooks the city of Kathmandu on the north and that of Patan towards the east… Kirtipur has never been an extensive city but its almost impregnable position gave it an importance disproportionate to its size”.

The town has a complex social structure, unified by ethnic and cultural bonds, but diverse in the hierarchy of its social groups. Until recently it preserved its rural society in close proximity to Kathmandu and Patan, which are becoming increasingly metropolitan. Kirtipur is inhabited by Newars, the most ancient population group of the Valley, known for their artistic skills and responsible for the much admired architectural forms which have produced the townscapes of the Kathmandu Valley. Kirtipur itself has preserved many elegant old houses and a number of important religious Buddhist and Hindu buildings.

                   Bagh Bhairav Temple, the main Hindu temple of Kirtipur


Traditional houses at De Pukhu, in the centre of the town

An international team of experts, many from Nepal and some from Kirtipur present detailed studies covering a wide range of subjects concerned with the town and its people.   The book remains a main source on this historic town, and was instrumental in putting it on the map both for outsiders and residents.


Mehrdad Shokoohy: Introduction

Gauri Nath Rimal: Private and public involvement in conservation policy development 

Mehrdad Shokoohy: History

Mehrdad Shokoohy: The Newars, the people of Kirtipur

Sukra Sagar Shrestha: Social life and festivals

Mehrdad Shokoohy: Urban fabric

Chris Miers: The Newari house

Ramendra Raj Sharma: Traditional houses of Kirtipur, their types and building materials

Marc Barani: The residential unit – symbolic organisation

Sukra Sagar Shrestha: Historic public buildings

Sudarshan Raj Tiwari: Tiered temples of Kirtipur, a study of their form and proportion  

Natalie H. Shokoohy: Buddhist monasteries 

Padam B. Chhetri: Kathmandu Valley Land Use Plan and Kirtipur  

Shankar M. Pradhan: Land use and population survey

Uttam Sagar Shrestha: Land use changes in Kirtipur

Uttam Sagar Shrestha: Road transport and communications 

Robin Lal Chitrakar: Water supply and sanitation

Mehrdad Shokoohy: Tourism and its effects on Kirtipur

Sukra Sagar Shrestha: Art and antiquities 

                  Appendix A; Inscriptions of Kirtipur.  

                  Appendix B; National Museum, Kathmandu,
                                    images from Chilancho Vihar
                  Appendix C; National Museum, Kathmandu,
                                    objects from Mul Bhagvansthan,
                                    Chilancho Mahavihar




Chilanco stupa, one of the oldest stupas in Nepal


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