ECSAS 2023 – Turin 26-29 July

Pashupatiksetra: protection beyond World Heritage


Weise Kai


47 – Recent Cultural Heritage Initiatives in Nepal and the Himalayas


 Pashupati is one of the seven monument zones of the Kathmandu Valley World Heritage property in Nepal. The monument ensemble developed around the main Pashupati Temple, next to the cremation ghats on the western banks of the Bagmati River. To the east is Mrigasthali and the Shleshmantak Forest, an important landscape in the legends of Lord Pashupatinath, an avatar of Lord Siva. The landscape is scattered with numerous siva-lingams and images of various deities. The site is where numerous communities carry out festivals and rituals, often contesting for dominance.

The World Heritage status has focused mainly on the monumental built heritage, neglecting other aspect of the property. A recently prepared Master Plan for the Pashupatiksetra, which has been adopted by the Government of Nepal, addresses the protection of various categories of heritage: the site and landscape, the built and monumental, the cultural artefacts, and the intangible heritage. This paper will examine the process of preparing the new Master Plan and its implications on protecting the multifarious attributes of Pashupatiksetra.