Before and After
Kasthamandap, known locally as Maru Sattal, 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.
Image on the left from:
M. S. Slusser and G. Vajracharya, Two Medieval Nepalese Buildings: An Architectural and Cultural Study, Artibus Asiae Vol. 36, No. 3 (1974), pp. 169-218.
Image on the right courtesy Prasanna Adhikari.