No Future for an Urban Past

Through the reigns of the Kirats, the Lichhavis and finally the Mallas, the Valley's towns developed and maintained a "religio-cultural urbanism" that was unique. Sadly, the last forty years have been enough to destroy much of the cultural fabric of these settlements.

Dense settlements began to emerge in Kathmandu Valley at least 1500 years ago. But first, there were the Kirats, who inhabited and ruled Kathmandu Valley in the latter half of the first millennium BC. Although nothing definite can be said about the settlements established by the Kirats, it can be surmised from place-names that their settlements were mostly located at the foothills of the Valley rim and on the ridge spurs extending inward. The Kirat places of worship were located on hilltops, which today remain active as Hindu or Buddhist piths ("power places") such as Phulchoki, Nagarjun, Changu and Bishankhu.

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Himal Southasian