Click to: riverhouses.org/2020-nepal
The mountainous nation of Nepal in central Asia is one of our homeschool countries-of-the-week, so why not spend a few minutes today learning about one of Nepal’s World Heritage Sites: the Kathmandu Valley.
The Kathmandu Valley is an ancient population center that is rich in both Hindu and Buddhist history and architecture:
“Located in the foothills of the Himalayas, the Kathmandu Valley World Heritage property is inscribed as seven Monument Zones. These monument zones are the Durbar squares or urban centres with their palaces, temples, and public spaces of the three cities of Kathmandu (Hanuman Dhoka), Patan, and Bhaktapur, and the religious ensembles of Swayambhu, Bauddhanath, Pashupati, and Changu Narayan. The religious ensemble of Swayambhu includes the oldest Buddhist monument (a stupa) in the Valley; that of Bauddhanath includes the largest stupa in Nepal; Pashupati has an extensive Hindu temple precinct; and Changu Narayan comprises traditional Newari settlement, and a Hindu temple complex with one of the earliest inscriptions in the Valley from the fifth century AD. The unique tiered temples are mostly made of fired brick with mud mortar and timber structures. The roofs are covered with small overlapping terracotta tiles, with gilded brass ornamentation. The windows, doorways, and roof struts have rich decorative carvings. The stupas have simple but powerful forms with massive, whitewashed hemispheres supporting gilded cubes with the all-seeing eternal Buddha eyes.
“As Buddhism and Hinduism developed and changed over the centuries throughout Asia, both religions prospered in Nepal and produced a powerful artistic and architectural fusion beginning at least from the 5th century AD, but truly coming into its own in the three hundred year period between 1500 and 1800 AD. These monuments were defined by the outstanding cultural traditions of the Newars, manifested in their unique urban settlements, buildings, and structures with intricate ornamentation displaying outstanding craftsmanship in brick, stone, timber, and bronze that are some of the most highly developed in the world.“ (UNESCO World Heritage Centre #121)
The many historic temples and religious structures in the Kathmandu Valley are important sites today of both international cultural tourism and religious pilgrimage.
World Heritage Sites are cultural or natural landmarks of international significance, selected for recognition by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization. More than 1000 such sites have been recognized in over 160 countries, and we feature one every Wednesday, drawn from one of our homeschool countries-of-the-week. You can find a complete list online at the UNESCO World Heritage Centre and in Wikipedia.
The World Heritage Centre also has a free and comprehensive World Heritage education kit for teachers, as well as a wonderful full-color wall map of World Heritage Sites (riverhouses.org/2019-wh-map), available for the cost of shipping. Why not add them both to your own homeschool library. 🗺
What world treasures have you been exploring in your homeschool this Leo Term? 😊
❡ Books in the running brooks: You can always turn to your River Houses almanac, atlas, and history encyclopedia (riverhouses.org/books) for more information about any of our countries-of-the-week. The almanac has profiles of all the nations of the world on pages 745–852; the endpapers of the atlas are indexes that will show you where all of the individual national and regional maps may be found; the history encyclopedia includes national histories on pages 489–599; and you can find additional illustrations, flags, and other mentions through the indexes in each of these volumes. For an ideal little lesson, just write the name of the Weekly World Heritage Site on your homeschool bulletin board, find its location in your atlas, read the WHC’s brief description aloud, look at a picture or two, and you’re done. Over the course of the year, without even realizing it, your students will absorb a wealth of new historical, geographical, and cultural information. 🇳🇵
❡ The great globe itself: This is one of our regular Homeschool States & Countries posts featuring historical and natural sites of international importance. Download a copy of our River Houses World Heritage Calendar (riverhouses.org/calendars) and follow along with us as we tour the planet, and add your name to our weekly mailing list (riverhouses.org/newsletter) to get great homeschool teaching ideas delivered right to your mailbox all through the year. 🌏