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Monday, September 14, 2009

Heritage Conservation in Nepal: the case of Sankhu

Monday, September 14, 2009
The town of Sankhu
Sankhu is an old and historical trading town situated about 17 km northeast of Kathmandu on the ancient trade route to Tibet. The foundation of the kingdom of Sankhu is attributed to the goddess Vajrayogini, whose shrine is located in the forest above the town of Sankhu. The temple of Vajrayogini is an important pilgrimage site for Buddhists and Hindus alike. The yearly festival of the goddess is also the main event in Sankhu's ritual cycle. According to the legend Manisailamahavadana, Vajrayogini instructed the priest Jogdev and the first king Sankhadev to build the town of Sankhu in the shape of a conch shell. The oldest inscription found in Sankhu is dated 538 AD.
After the opening of alternative trade routes to Tibet the town lost in importance. Nowadays Sankhu is a mainly agricultural town, which offers a medieval sight in spite of its proximity to Kathmandu. Sankhu’s surrounding villages; Lapsephedi and Nanglebhare Village Development Committees are the most remote and backward areas of Kathmandu.

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