Nepal Arts and Literature


Nepal’s dominant literary language was in ancient times newari. The classical Newari literature mainly consisted of folk songs, historical chronicles, paraphrases and adaptations of storytelling literature from India as well as plays where a fusion between the classical Indian theater and a domestic lyrical singing tradition. During the Rana regime, the literary activity of newari came to be strongly suppressed, and only by the restoration of the constitutional monarchy in 1951 was censorship alleviated. The modern Newari literature is influenced by Hindi literature and has incorporated new literary forms such as the novel and the novel. Cittadhar Hriday is considered the leading author with his epic about Buddha (1948), which combines Indian art poetic style with Nepali local color.

Nepal Population Pyramid

  • Countryaah: Population and demographics of Nepal, including population pyramid, density map, projection, data, and distribution.

After Nepal’s unification in 1769, Nepal became the foremost literary language. During the 19th century, poetry dominated, with, among other things, Bhanubhakta, who redrafted the Indian epic “Ramayana”. The poetry of the 20th century has mainly followed Indian role models, but through Lakshmiprasad Devkota, domestic subjects and Nepali prosody were introduced. The drama gained a foothold at the beginning of the century and has largely received influences from India and Europe, especially Shakespeare, with Balkrishna Sam as its main representative. In the field of prose, earlier machinations of Indian stories and fables prevailed. Guru Prasad Mainali is the most important modern short story writer who dealt with current social problems.


Nepal’s little extensive film production is supported by the Royal Nepal Film Corporation, established in 1971. The first Nepalese film was “Raja Harishcandra”, recorded in India in 1952, and the first to be recorded in the country was “Amma” (1960), both directed by Hira Singh. From 1960-87, the country was responsible for 16 feature films, including co-productions with India. Among the filmmakers active at that time are Pradeep Rimal, Home B. Lama, Tulshi Gimere and Neer Shah. The civil conflict in 1996-2007 weakened the film industry and drove film workers into exile. The Film Development Board (FDB) was established with the new republic, but with continued political instability, the future of Nepalese film is uncertain. Nepal has been the scene for several foreign film productions, including “The Golden Child” (1986), “Little Buddha” (1993) and “Alien vs. Predator §(2004).


The visual arts, like the building art, are inspired from India. Nepali art can be divided into six different styles that roughly coincide with the most important dynasties:

1) the time before the Licchavi period (before 400);

2) Licchavi period (400-700 languages);

3) the time between the Licchavi and Malla periods (700-900’s);

4) early Malla period (1000’s to 1300’s);

5) the later Malla period (1400-1700);

6) Shah or Gurkha period (from the 18th century to the present).

The oldest finds of sculpture are for the most part fragmentary terracotta figures that reflect considerable influences from India. During the Licchavi period, which corresponds to the Indian Gupta era, both Buddhist and Hindu art in Nepal is heavily dependent on India. Thus, during the archaeological excavations of the last decades, both stone and bronze figures have been found in beautiful gupta style.

During the early Malla period, the Nepalese sculpture shows strong influence from the Pala and Sena styles in eastern India, but at the same time Tibetan tantrism played a major role in Nepal. This religious symbolic language is especially expressed in the Nepali bronze sculptures. From the 15th century, you are adorned with the sculptures with inlays of turquoise and other stones. During the latter Malla period, a country-specific design language begins to appear in the sculpture, with complicated movements and Mongolian physiognomies. Religious painting is mostly influenced by Tibet and Northern India.


Nepal’s architecture has been shaped under the influence of several directions. Indian influence was strong already in the first millennium BC. Edict pillars created during Ashoka in the 20th century BC confirms Buddhism’s early foothold in these areas, as well as the remains of temples from the Licchavi period (AD 400-700).

However, the construction works preserved in Nepal are mainly from the 17th to the 18th centuries, although they are considerably older in origin. The oldest of the Dungas is the Carumati Dung east of Kathmandu. In its form it is an early Indian but the later extant pyramidal spire, with eyes painted on the plinth, is a Nepali creation. Another famous stupa is found in Budnath east of Kathmandu. Its current design is the result of extensions made over the centuries. Both temples and temples and palaces in Nepal are made of brick and wood, more rarely in stone.

The architecture is characterized by a rich decoration around gates and windows, where brass is also used. Buddhist and Hindu elements mix freely. In the three most important cities of Kathmandu, Lalitpur and Bhaktapur, the palace with associated temples and stupas is adjacent to a large square. An important part of the palace buildings is the pagoda with its many roof cases. One of the most stately pagodas is that of the Najatapola Temple in Bhaktapur, erected in 1703. Fountains and running water are also important features of the architectural design.


With its multi-ethnic population, Nepal has a great wealth of musical traditions. Lamaistic music is found in Tibet-oriented folk groups in the Himalayan and other mountain regions. Specialist musicians such as Damai are responsible for wedding music with oboes, horns and percussion (today, however, often with a western wind orchestra), while the Gaine cast’s singer accompanies himself with the four-stringed fiddle sarangi, which has almost become a national symbol.

The Newar people have a large repertoire of worldly folk songs, narrative songs and seasonal songs. In their distinctive, complex and historically well-documented music culture, almost all men are traditionally involved in religious music: hymns, flute orchestras or percussion ensembles such as dhimaybaja at the peasant cast and naykhibaja at the butcher’s casket.

In dapha -hymnerna portrayed archaic ragas and spoken through choral singing to drum khi and cymbals. The more modern bhajan hymns are accompanied by harmonium and tabla.

Since the 1950’s, modern love songs and political songs have been created in Nepal on the basis of indigenous folk song traditions, Indian popular and art music as well as Western chords and polyphony.

Nepal Arts and Literature