Social Science Baha

Lecture Series

Nepali Heritage and You

Dipesh Risal
Lecture Series LXXXIX
September 26, 2016

Dipesh Risal
Nepali Heritage and You

The rich culture of the Kathmandu Valley has been fertile material for my long-running historic fiction project for about five years. However, the devastating earthquakes of 2015 and the subsequent loss of heritage put the heritage of Kathmandu Valley in sharp focus for me. The more I dug into the layered history of Kathmandu, the more fascinated I was with the revelations. In this presentation, I will cover the history and significance of Kasthamandap (which was completely destroyed in the first earthquake). This will be followed by an exploration of intangible heritage, weaving in elements of Newa craftsmanship and art in multiple media such as illuminated manuscripts, statues and painted scrolls (bilanpau). Finally, I will cover the community’s role in heritage preservation and propose specific ways in which the Nepali community can become involved in preserving what is, ultimately, their own property.

* * *

To listen or download lecture in audio format


Dipesh Risal is a writer and amateur historian. He holds a PhD in biochemistry/biophysics. He started his writing career with an investigative journalism stint at Himal magazine in 1991. He also writes about heritage preservation issues in ECS Nepal and Nepali Times. He manages the heritage site rebuild Published excerpts from his upcoming historic fiction novel can be sampled at He is currently working for a biotech company in a marketing capacity.

Nepali Heritage and You
Share Via: