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The Nyatapola Temple of Bhaktapur - A Mark of Nepalese Temple Design

Nyapola Temple of Bhaktapur with its five roofs, one of the most famous temples in the Kathmandu Valley, has to be assessed with regard to its role in the architectural history of Nepal. It was built by Bhupatindramalla (1696-1722 A.D.) in 1702 A.D. just at the moment when age-old canons were being modified to find new ways of expression. Historical records point out religious tensions in the kingdom of Bhaktapur intimately linked to the erection of this monument. Nyatapola Temple was dedicated to the personal deity of this king. In this context attention is given to various other shrines of the royal clan in Bhaktapur, Kathmandu and Patan. The situation of temple design in 1700 A.D. shows significant innovations such as increase of roof storeys and plinth steps on the one hand and the introduction of an open gallery surrounding the shrine cella on the other. Bhupatindramalla integrated various styles of near-contemporary monuments to make a convincing political and religious statement while erecting a temple to his personal deity. The result is a building of the utmost harmony, defining mature rules and canons of temple design to be observed until the end of the Malla rule.

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