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Nepal’s Urbanization and Architecture

Nepal's Urbanization and Architecture


Nepal is one of the top ten least urbanized countries in the world. However, now it is one of the top ten fastest urbanizing countries. By 2020, the rate of urban migration was 21.4%, with an urban population of 6.22 million and an urban migration rate of 4 percent (UN DESA, 2020). During the 2014-2050 season, Nepal will be ranked among the top ten cities in the world with a fixed urban population rate of 1.9 percent.

Nepal’s urban migration is dominated by a few large and densely populated cities in the Kathmandu Valley. Population distribution is uneven across the country. There is high urban growth taking place in the Kathmandu Valley, Pokhara Valley, the Inner Terai valleys, and in markets and border towns between the east and west highways and the five major south-south highways.

In addition, government and donor documents provide details of possible future approaches to city management, including:

1) Changes in the number and behavior of urban areas

2) Changes in the basis of urban designation

3) Specification of the complex and fragmented urban administrative structure

4) To increase the level of public spending on municipal infrastructure.

Government and donor programs that focus on broad areas of development such as environmental management, infrastructure, water, and sanitation are linked to urban development and are a response to increased service delivery needs. Kathmandu district has received a lot of attention from international organizations. Asia Development Bank has been the largest donor to urban area infrastructure, development, and planning in Nepal. There are several other donors including the UK Department, GIZ, for International Development, the World Bank, and UN-Habitat that provide assistance to the urban sector.


Nepalese architecture is a unique field of art and practicality. Between the trade routes of India, Tibet, and China, Nepali’s architectural art reflects the influences from both cultural forts. Statistics of the custom of making pagoda are prominent in Hindu temples throughout the country. Mural style, conference style, dome-style also has a great place in Nepal. Pagoda style: pagoda is a rocky temple with many roofs. This style is the oldest in the Asian continent and finds its place in the trees of the Himalayan sites. A ground floor is a place of worship and the upper floors can be used as a storehouse of God’s belongings. There is a gajura at the top which is a combination of a lotus base, a vertical vase, a triangle, and a kalasha. The historical facts tell us the pagoda style of the monastery was introduced in Nepal from the beginning of the thirteenth century. Araniko and his friends are believed to have mastered the art of building a pagan-style building. They spread the Pagoda style in Tibet and China and by building many beautiful buildings. Although he is not with us today, Magriha of Madhav, Kailashkut Bhawan of Amshuvarma, and Badradiwas Bhawan of Narendradev were masters of pagoda style. The best examples of ancient are the Pashupatinath temple, the Changunarayan Temple, and the Chandeshwori temple(banepa).