Nepal Mandal : A Pilgrim's Guide to the Kathmandu Valley
Author: Keith Dowman
Nepal Mandal is an in-depth guide and survey of the principle Buddhist and Hindu monasteries, temples and piths of the Kathmandu Valley. In seven parts under the rubric of Buddha, Padmasambhava, Gorakhnath, Siva, Narayan, Matrkas and Peaks and Rivers, over one hundred and twenty powerplace are described, many fully described under the heads Myth, Legend, In The Past, and On The Ground. Myth and Legend lay the background; In The Past provides the history; and On The Ground guides the pilgrim-visitor around the site indicating its main features. Many readers will find the sections on Myth and Legend to be the highlight of the book. Retold with a jogi’s insight these sections constitute a radical spiritual dimension to the powerplaces. The last and largest section includes description of the sacred Buddhist and Hindu art and architecture — sometimes in great detail — for the visitor focused on the religious art forms — the objects of veneration. In that way this large book is a guide to the principle cities of the Valley—Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur — at the same time visiting the treasures in the villages between these cities. A practical iconography of the pantheon of the Kathmandu Valley is thereby built-in, with sections of the text dedicated to it. Over a hundred high quality black and white photographs document the stone and metal sculpture of Nepal Mandal. Since most of the work on this book was done in years before the 2015 earthquake it constitutes an historical record of the art ‘gone missing’ and the architectural damage done. The author, a prominent exponent of Tantric Buddhism in both theory and practice, spent four decades of unending pilgrimage through the monasteries and temples of the Kathmandu Valley propitiating their numinous inhabitants and documenting their invaluable contents. An extensive Supplement provides rare pilgrim itineraries for the Kathmandu Valley, a full Glossary defines technical terms, and a detailed Table of Contents and an inclusive Index provide easy access.