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Two Nepalese Shrines of the Saha Period with Eclectic Characteristics

The architecture of the Saha-period is related in the beginning to the building tradition of the Malla era. However, there arises a strive for individual solutions to document the superiority of the new rule; e.g. the extension of Hanuman Dhoka Palace with the tower surrounding Lohom cuka or Nuvakot palace. Less spectacular are shrine buildings erected during this period. Particular interest attracts a group of shrine buildings which has been composed in such a way as to combine the multi-tiered degah (with open gallery) with the sikhara temple type. The temples concerned give evidence of eclectic tendencies in the architecture of Kathmandu Valley. In the 18th century A.D. stylistic components of the Newar Architecture are assembled in a new mode, later there is evidence of characteristics of north-Indian Mogul architecture. The study comprises the documentation and investigation of two eminent examples of this temple type: Jagannath degah, Teku, Kathmandu (1) and Van Viktesvar Mahadev degah, Pacali ghat, Kathmandu (2). Jagannath degah was erected in 1792 A.D. The Sikhara-core is surrounded by an octagonal ambulatory. The core is made from bricks, the ambulatory and the four balconies attached to the four sikhara walls are wooden structures. The temple is bordered at two sides by dharmasalas forming a courtyard. Van Viktesvar Mahadev degah stands inside a courtyard formed by the four wings of a dharmasala. The ensemble is situated close to the Bagmati river. It was built in 1850 A.D. The temple is erected on a plinth with three steps and contains three shrines attached to each other which are dedicated to Lord Siva. While the cellas form one rectangular building, each shrine is topped individually by its own sikhara tower. The shrine building, made from bricks, is embraced by a wooden ambulatory showing Mogul style influence.

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