Sulima Temple

Patan, Nepal

Background

The 14th-century Sulima temple, the oldest shrine in the Kathmandu Valley, is a finely detailed remnant of a rich period of Hindu culture. The pagoda, dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva, contains carved decorations of the pre-Malla (medieval) period of Nepalese history. The temple is in the middle of a small plaza and is surrounded by numerous historic buildings, including a priest’s residence and a shrine house, all of which are the oldest surviv¬ing examples of their type in Nepal.

How We Helped

In 1988, WMF and the Kathmandu Valley Preservation Trust collaborated to train workers and craftsmen to conserve the temple. The work consisted of the removal of plant material, the repair and replacement of bricks and mortar, the conservation of the base and a two-tiered, wood-framed hipped roof and substructure, and the reconstruction of wood strut roof supports and the restoration of decorative elements.

Why It Matters

No earlier or contemporary temples exist in this region, endowing Sulima temple with singular architectural and cultural significance. The fine detailing and carved decorations adorning the temple offer unique and unparallel examples of the pre-Malla Nepalese aesthetic approach to ornamentation.

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