Nepalese architecture is another arts that has become an important part of the country’s cultural heritage. The art dealing with a place of dwelling is called architecture (Bastukala). Just like the art of painting and sculpture, the ancient architecture of Nepal is found to be an excellent even from the scientific point of view. Nepalese architecture is also considered to be very important amongst the cultural heritage arts of Nepal. Ancient architecture can be divided into three categories:
The Pagoda Style
According to the historical facts, the pagoda style was introduced in Nepal for the beginning of the 13th century. It is believed that the pagoda style of Nepalese architecture was taken to the China by Aruniko and his colleagues from Nepal. Pagoda style means having more than one roof with a broader base and gradually narrowing tops. Man Griha of Man dev, temple of Changu Narayan, Kailashkut bhawan of Amshuverma, Bhadradhiwas of Narendra Dev of ancient times are some excellent examples of Nepalese architectures.
Many Pagoda style temples, Palaces and buildings were built during the Malla period, Dattatraya and Nyatapole of Bhaktapur, Kastamandap of Kathmandu, etc are such examples. Nine storey palace of Basntapur and the palace Nuwakot built during Prithivi Narayan’s time are also built in this style. Temples of Pashupatinath, Taleju, Palanchowk Bhagwati are also the examples of Pagoda style.
The Stupa or Chaitya Style
According to the Boudha tradition, the style of architecture having a broad base and gradually tempering upwards is called the Stupa or Chaitya Style. Emperor Ashok is believed to have introduced this style of architecture in Nepal. Maya Devi temple of Lumbini is its fine example. This style has been in practice in Nepal since ancient times. Swayambhunath and Boudhanath are the excellent examples of the Stupa Style. Ashok Stupa of Patan is believed to be the oldest stupa of Nepal. Charumati Chaitya of Chawahil is also built in this style.
The Shikhar Style
The Shikhar style is also a fine traditional architecture. It is tall and looks like a pyramid. There are five to Nine perpendicular divisions or sections at the outer part of such architectures. There are Gajurs at the top of each section. They are broader at the lower portion and become narrower at the top. Krishna Mandir of Patan and Mahabouddha are its excellent examples. Krishna Mandir was built by Malla king, Siddhinarsingh Malla. There are buildings and religious shrines built in Gumbaj Style, Mugal style etc in Nepal. Janaki Mandir of Janakpur is its example. There are some fine Gumbaj Style architectures especially in the Terai.
The Malla period palace of 55 story in Bhaktapur, Rana period palace of Singha Durbar, Kesar Mahal, Thapathali Durbar, Sri Mahal, Rani Mahal etc are also some fine examples of the Nepalese architectures. We can see some of the Europeans style architecture in these palaces.