Ancient Cities

In general terms, diminishing tiered roofing is called pagoda. Pagoda architecture was very popular in East Asian countries like Japan, Thailand, China and Nepal. Nepalese pagodas are the most important and significant features of Nepalese architecture.

The word “pagoda” was originally brought to the English vocabulary as a reference to Japanese architectural styles. In a literal sense, it means structures made like pyramids. Pagodas looks like a stack of pyramids piled one above the other.

Pagodas were usually constructed in Kathmandu in response to the need for higher structures. Although they don’t seem like high towers in today’s skyline, they were tower-like structures in the ancient times. Hindus believed that the gods lived up in heaven and in order to provide easy passage between the heavens and the temples tall temples were needed.
The oldest Pagoda temple built in Nepal was the Pashupatinath Temple, which was built around first century AD. Other records also have proved that many pagodas-like structures were present in Nepal by the seventh century; however, the actual origin of the pagoda is still unknown and a matter of controversy. There are many stories stating the origin of the pagoda in different countries. According to one of the stories in Nepal, when Chinese commissions led by Wang-Huen visited Kathmandu in the seventh century pagoda style did not exist in China and they were impressed with pagodas in Kathmandu. Later one of the greatest designers of that time, Araniko, was taken to China to develop and spread pagoda architecture. Later it was spread to the other eastern countries.
Although the pagoda was introduced to Nepal much earlier, it was primarily developed and flourished during the Malla dynasty. We can find very few pagodas in Nepal from before the Malla period.

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