The earthquake of April 25, 2015 and its aftershocks devastated many towns and villages in Nepal. As the focus shifts from relief to rehabilitation, there is also an urgent need to preserve and restore the many architectural gems that have been lost to the earthquakes. Kathmandu is home to seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and three were severely damaged in the earthquakes.
The most concerning loss is that of Kasthamandap, known locally as Maru Sattal, the original construction of which dates back to at least 1143 AD. Located at the cross-roads of two ancient trans-Himalayan trade routes, and situated in the heart of the city, Kasthamandap has served as a rest-house for local residents and weary travelers of the trade routes for almost a thousand years. In subsequent centuries (and perhaps during its hazy early days), it was also consecrated as a temple. And in typical Nepali style, the pavilion was to serve both functions for many centuries to come: rest-house and sacred temple. Not only was Kasthamandap the oldest public building in Kathmandu, it was also the largest. The very name of the capital city of Nepal, Kathmandu, is derived from Kasthamandap. Kasthamandap, therefore, is the very heart and soul of Kathmandu.
We must restore and rebuild this world treasure so that future generations can revel in its presence, as many of us have done in the last 900 years.
This site is an attempt at catalyzing restoration activities for Kasthamandap. Will you join us?
We have used the historic sources that are available to us. Some of these might be outdated by more recent scholarship. If you can help update the historic record, please join us and contribute.
This is meant to be a non-commercial, grass-roots effort. In weaving together stories of the legends and people that revolve around Kasthamandap, we will often borrow from published sources, always giving proper credit. If you are the copyright holder of text or images appearing on this web site and have concerns, please contact us and we will work with you to respect your intellectual property.