Namobuddha vouched for World Heritage List

7, Dec 2021 |

Efforts are being put to list the historic Namobuddha monastery in the UNESCO world heritage site list.

An initiative has been taken in order to list the historical Namobuddha in the World Heritage List. As Namobuddha is a historical, touristic, and religious site, initiatives have been taken by the stakeholders to get it listed in the World Heritage List.

The city had earlier been urging the people's representatives to list Namobuddha as a World Heritage Site. "An initiative has been launched to list Namobuddha as a World Heritage Site and the process is underway," said Mayor Tipi Sharma Timalsina. According to Sharma, the city has been included in the plan, as the criteria for listing the property have been reached.

The city plans to formally visit the UNESCO Nepal representative. Bagmati MP Chandra Lama said that initiatives have been taken from the state level for the listing. He said, "Work has been started for the enlistment and we have planned to visit the UNESCO representative." According to him, if the environment is conducive, there will be a formal visit of Namobuddha by UNESCO and other stakeholders next December. Namobuddha is also considered a place of pilgrimage, especially for Buddhists.

Namobuddha is the place where the 'prince' sacrificed his own life to give life to 'Baghini', a tigress in the previous life of Gautam Buddha, the symbol of peace. Buddha was reborn in Lumbini after he gave up his life in the previous birth. The mantra, 'Namobuddhay Namah' is found to have inspired the name, 'Namobuddha'. According to the legend, a huge crowd of Buddhists used to come to the place where the skeletal vehicle of the same prince was made and the place where he sacrificed his life, in order to worship and light lamps on the occasion of Kartik Shukla Purnima. At present, there are huge monasteries, temples, and chaityas in the place. The monastery also has a Buddha Pathshala.

Similarly, the historical, religious, cultural, and archeological city of Kavre, Panauti will be inscribed on the World Heritage List following the decision of the Council of Ministers in Nepal. Panauti was proposed to be listed in the World Heritage Site list of UNESCO, 25 years ago. Mayor Bhim Neupane informed that the final process of listing is awaiting the decision of the cabinet meeting.

"Following the decision of the cabinet meeting, Panauti will be listed by UNESCO," he said. After the work of listing Panauti as a World Heritage Site started last year, the head of UNESCO Nepal, Christian Manhart, observed the touristic, historical, religious, and archeological heritage of Panauti.

During the visit, Manhart said that UNESCO was ready to list the temples and houses of old Nepali origin in the World Heritage List with special interest. "We are waiting for the decision of the cabinet to be inscribed on the World Heritage List," he said. Mayor Neupane informed that the process of ministry-wise listing has been completed and the decision is yet to be taken by the cabinet meeting.”

Following the decision of the Council of Ministers, a team of UNESCO French archaeologists will again inspect Panauti. In this process of listing, the construction work of 72 original Nepali houses in Panauti is in full swing. The Municipal Office has already conducted training in making artistic wood, conducting homestay, and conservation of archeological heritage for the development of cultural tourism.

After being inscribed on the World Heritage Site, it will be called 'Panauti UNESCO World Heritage Site'. UNESCO lists the heritage of a nation's special cultural significance (such as forests, mountains, lakes, islands, deserts, monuments, buildings, or cities) in its list, which are selected by the World Heritage Committee. The same committee will look after this heritage area under UNESCO.

UNESCO's Nepal-based body had proposed to list Panauti as a World Heritage Site in 2052 BS as a medieval architectural site. Mayor Neupane said that the work of the listing has been in confusion due to the negligence of the stakeholders. The Department of Archeology is currently rebuilding the historic monastery and old artistic-style house in Panauti. There are more than 100 historical monasteries and Patipauwas (pavilions where locals gathered during cultural events) in Panauti Municipality-5, 6, and 7. The monasteries and pavilions were repaired and renovated from 2048 to 2055 BS with the help of the French government. The renovated places are believed to help promote both international and domestic tourism.

According to the Department of Archeology, four areas of Nepal have been listed in the World Heritage List. These include the Kathmandu Valley (seven areas: Kathmandu Durbar Area, Patan Durbar Area, Bhaktapur Durbar Area, Pashupatinath Temple, Swayambhunath, Bouddhanath, and Changunarayan Temple), Chitwan National Park, Lumbini, and Everest National Park.

Nepal has so far proposed to UNESCO to list 15 historical and tourist sites, including Panauti, in the World Heritage List. Out of these, Panauti is said to be the first to be inscribed on the World Heritage List.

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