In the history of Nepal, the small Newari town of Kirtipur is unique. Even though the founding of the town dates back to the 12th century and the time of King Shivadev, its true origin is probably far older, as discoveries that date back to the Pre-Lichchavi epoch indicate that it could be one of the oldest settlements in the entire Kathmandu Valley.
In the course of time, and particularly under the reign of the Malla Kings, Kirtipur developed into a small independent town with several beautiful temples and sanctuaries.
The design of today’s Buddhist Chilandeo Stupa, dates back to the 16th century but the original building is attributed to the Indian King, ASHOKA. Under the reign of this legendary leader in the 3rd century AD, Buddhism began to spread across the length and breadth of the Indian subcontinent. The many years of Kirtipur’s independence came to an end in 1482, when the town’s inhabitants reluctantly came under the rule of the nearby city of Patan.
Today, the town of almost 15,000 inhabitants is divided into two areas. The eastern section is predominantly inhabited by Buddhists while the upper part of the town consists mainly of Hindus. However, both areas of the town are united by an idyllic rural atmosphere.
Due to the declining economic situation in Kirtipur, the town’s cultural monuments appear to represent the last ray of hope for its inhabitants and a much needed possible source of future income.
Global Treasures - History's Most Protected Monuments - Heritage is our legacy from the past, what we live today, and what we pass on to future generations. Our cultural and natural heritage are both irreplaceable sources of life and inspiration. Places as unique and diverse as the wilds of East Africa's Serengeti, the Pyramids of Egypt, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and the Baroque cathedrals of Latin America make up our world's heritage. Join us as we explore one of these protected monuments.