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Water Conduits in the Kathmandu Valley

The water conduits of the Newar communities are designed with a high degree of skill, thus competing with the best building monuments found in the Kathmandu Valley. In addition, the water conduits represent a building type dating back to the dawn of Nepalese history, namely to the Licchavi dynasty of the mid-sixth century A.D. Water conduits have, therefore, been of great importance for at least fifteen centuries. The aim of this study is to give a clear idea of the function and architecture of the water conduits of the Kathmandu Valley. A large number of water conduits was investigated with regard to function and use on the one hand, and construction and architecture on the other, in order to produce a fund of data for reasonable comparison. The subject will be studied from the urban point of view, as well as from the detailed evaluation of selected water conduits, which are mainly located in the three big cities of the Valley. Particular attention will be given to the publication of drawing documentation of these selected buildings. The drawings, therefore, occupy a central role in this study; they are not merely a means of illustration but a result of investigation. The study is in three parts.

Part I will deal, in general, with the various aspects of use of water conduits and architecture of this building type.

Part II will deal with three special cases, focussing on questions of space and location within the urban as well as the landscape context.

Part III comprises of detailed studies of six selected water conduits in Bhaktapur, Kathmandu, Patan and Godavari.

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