Architecture

Nepalese religious architecture is another art medium that is an important part of the country's cultural heritage. There are three broad styles - the pagoda style, the stupa style and the shikhara style.

Pagoda style refers to multi-roofed structures with wide eaves supported by carved wooden struts. Windows, either latticed or grilled, are usually projecting, while the roof is generally topped off by triangular spires enclosing and inverted bell of stucco or burnished gold.

The Swoyambhunath and Boudhanath shrines are Nepal's first examples of the stupa or Chaitya style. This style is purely Buddhist in concept and execution. The outstanding feature of the stupa is a hemispherical mound topped by a square base supporting a series of the thirteen circular rings.

The Shikara style forms yet another architectural design found in Nepal. The super structure is a tall curvilinear or pyramidal tower whose surface is broken up vertically in five to nine sections.


The stupa style architecture is very common in Nepal. The outstanding feature of the stupa is a hemispherical mound topped by a square base supporting a series of the thirteen circular rings. Swoyambhunath and Boudhanath are the sites that are listed in UNESCO Heritage Sites.

Nyatapola (nyata=five, pola=roof) temple in Bhaktapur with its unmatchable five-tier pagoda is a feat in itself and is dedicated to Goddess Siddhi Lakshmi. The architectural design is superb with skillfully carved windows, beams, 20 pillars and 108 struts. It was built by King Bhupatindra Malla in 1702
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