Conservation and Development of Kumari Chhen and Kumari Niwas

The historic Kumari Chhen which is situated in the premises of Ratnakar Mahavihar in Kathmandu Valley was constructed between the 16th-17th century. The Mahavihar is renowned for its association with the living goddess ‘Kumari’ of Patan whose official residence or the Chhen is located in its rear courtyard where important rituals associated with the living goddess Kumari are observed. The Patan Kumari is much revered and plays an important role in the cultural life of the community.

The Kumari Chhen building is a traditional Newari style dwelling unit constructed with locally available materials in the valley. The rectangular building, three storeys high built with brick in mud mortar. The house has suffered from damages after the 2015 earthquake resulting in cracks on the main wall of the building, vertical separation, dislocation of roof tiles, all of which has rendered the building uninhabitable.

The scope of the project has two parts; one part addresses the partial reconstruction of the Kumari Chhen and conservation of the wall painting in it so that it can continue to serve as the ritual building; and the second part entails constructing a new building or the Niwas to function as the new official residence of the Kumari goddess. The Niwas is proposed to be built nearby in a traditional Newari architectural style on land donated by the Sangha members.

Project Cost – NPR4.55Crore; USD- 0.39Million

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