For our latest release, The Sikhara Range, we journey to Nepal.
The Sikhara Range draws upon the rich mountain peaks of the Himalayas Mountains which have defined the Nepali landscape for centuries, as well the ornate and delicate details found in traditional architecture and carvings perfected by the Nepali craftsmen.
Learn more about the inspiration behind our latest release.
Sitting at the crossroads between India and China, Nepal's architecture draws inspiration from the Himalayas, to the imagery and symbolism embedded in both the Buddhist and Hindu religions. Nepal's architectural masterpieces are available for all to experience and see - from the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the Kathmandu Valley to the ancient temples tucked away in Nepal's villages.
The architecture of Nepal can be classified into three categories: the pagoda style, the stupa style, and the shikhara style. Each distinct style was honed by Nepali craftsmen and has contributed to the unique style of temples and palaces throughout Nepal.
The pagoda style of architecture was honed by Nepali craftsmen and later influenced Chinese and Tibetan architecture. This type of style can be seen in ancient shrines and temples and traditionally features levels of tiered roofs with intricately carved bars. Below, the Changu Narayan Temple showcases the style of the multi-tiered ridges and roofs, along with the carved statues and adornments.
The pagoda style, as seen on the Changu Narayan Temple, Nepal. Imagery by Tobias Federle via Unsplash. The oldest Hindu temple still in use in the Kathmandu Valley - dedicated to Lord Vishnu.
The stupa style, as seen on The Swayambhunath Stupa below is known for its dome shape with an elegant pyramid reaching up the sky.
Stupas can be found throughout Asia and are exclusively Buddhist. Each stupa is rife with rich Buddhist symbolism and imagery - the stupa style has features meant to represent all five elements - earth, water, fire, air, and space. The painted eyes of the Buddha stare out in all four cardinal directions.
The stupa is said to represent the enlightened mind of a Buddha.
The Swayambhunath Stupa in the Kathmandu Valley. Photo: Tobias Federle via Unsplash.
The final style, the shikhara style, stems from the Sanskirt word for 'mountain peak.' The shape of the shikhara style resembles the mountains, with elaborate carvings and statues adorning each level.
The Patan Durban Square, named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979. The Square features examples of both pagoda and shikhara-style architecture.
The Himalayas are the greatest and highest mountains in the world. The Himalayas stretches over 3,500 km from Afghanistan the southern China. The Himalayas define the Nepali landscape, with eight of the world's 14 highest peaks sitting in Nepal, and Mount Everest, of course, being the highest of them all. The Himalayas have fascinated climbers and locals alike for centuries.
The iconic Himalayas have fundamentally impacted the way of life for people in Nepal - defining the culture, mythology, and architecture of Nepal.
The Himalayas. Photo: Tobias Federle via Unsplash.
The Sikhara Range
This 16-piece collection pays tribute to the unique architecture and landscapes of Nepal. From the elegant stupa, to the grand mountains that define the landscape, each piece reflects the unique culture of Nepal.
Each piece from the Sikhara Range has been handmade by women artisans living in Kathmandu. Artisans Sharmila and Rajendra are both proud to be showcasing the best of Nepali design to our global audience.
Shop the Sikhara Range today.