ARCHITECTURE

Dwarika’s Hotel’s elegant courtyards, buildings, and rooms aim to revive the stunning Newari architecture, capturing the beauty and spirit of ancient Kathmandu. The unique craftsmanship, heavily invested in the local art and culture, is conserved with a notion of utmost care. Dwarika’s antique wooden masterpieces date as far back as the 13th century, creating a certain indefinable aura that enfolds the hotel. Artifacts of Newari wood carvings depicting Hindu and Buddhist deities and mystical creatures attest to the architecture’s deep involvement in the Kathmandu valley’s cultural landscape.

OUR STORY

Our commitment to heritage conservation dates back to 1950, when the founder of the hotel, Mr. Dwarika Das Shrestha, witnessed carpenters sawing off the intricately carved portions of an old wooden pillar for firewood. What began as an impulsive action grew into a passion, and soon Dwarika Das Shrestha’s commitment to saving, documenting and restoring artefacts took on a life of its own. The rescued carved wooden pieces were employed to construct a building in an traditional Newari style. He envisioned that his new building, which would operate as a guest house, would allow more people to appreciate Nepal’s architectural and cultural legacy, giving the restored treasures a new lifespan. The vision behind the Dwarika’s Hotel as a living tribute to heritage of the Kathmandu Valley was thus born.

Sa jhya

Sa jhya is one of the mostly used window in the Newari art of wood carving. In the courtyards of Dwarika’s Sa jhya is the mostly used window.

Sa jhya means the oriel window or otherwise hair window.

Sa jhya comes with its name as the hair window because females used to comb their hair from the window to lure the passengers or young boys walking by.  The window allows only a little space through the window maintaining the privacy of the room of the houses.

The windows are not only figurative rectangle windows decorated with deities, mythical beings, dragons and other elements. There different types of carved windows used for different purposes and specified for different place.

The window is surmounted by rituals and their actual beliefs.

Ein the primordial times, Sa jhya symbolized the prosperity of the home. The houses that had sa jhya was represented as one of the rich class homes.

The beauty lies not only in the wood and bricks used, and in their proportion, rather the real beauty lies with the time it was built in for the kind of life it was built for. Every element bears cultural significances linked with their material and spiritual life, From materialistic aspect, human comfort, protection and security.

In Hindu culture, daughters go to their husbands’ home after they get married. They used to say their parents to find a guy for them to marry, who had sa jhya in their home.

Newari architecture, gives unique expression to the vibrant cultural and artistic boundaries in Nepalese architecture. The traditional Newari house is an indispensable component of cultural heritage of Nepal

The architecture is perfectly proportioned to their needs.

It basked in the sun in those open courtyards and breathed the air that passed through those narrow alleys.

Toran

In domestic Newar architecture, the entrance is framed by a pair of small latticed windows, allowing very little ventilation and light into damp rooms uses exclusively for storage. The first-floor latticed windows are of a larger scale, with the notion of privacy and impermeability.
One of the major ways to depict this culture is through the architecture that takes us back to the history.
The history of the Dwarika is something to cherish the most. It’s a living museum where one gets to live the history and witness it first-hand.
As you enter the courtyard of the Dwarika’s, the Lattist framework from the 14th century welcomes you. Known as yaku jhya given its name from Newari culture, Yaku jhya means a niche window, which is like a blind window.

The use of blind windows demonstrates that an architectural element representing a pair of eyes is needed to flank the door. In Newar architecture, blind windows (gajhyah) appear in parts to add to the perfection of a symmetrical order.
They flank the notion serving as the doorway to Buddhist as well as Hindu monastic courtyards and God Houses.
The panels which close what appears the “opening” of the window, bear auspicious deities such as Bodhisattvas, Bhairavas, or Guardians of the Universe, carved in high relief.
The panels of the larger blind widow depict heads and even busts of the very deities enshrined in the temple’s sanctum.
As we see the Tundal we can see many deities and celestial beings carved in the Tundal.
The Tundal is a small carved wood block which is a traditional Nepali architectural design possessing both spiritual and aesthetic values. Tundal are placed diagonally at the end of a wall beam and used to support the slant roof outside the wall.

The tundal is carved with various protecting deities and celestial beings.The tundal is enliven with the celestial beings being portraited in the various positions of songs rhythm, flowers seated in tribhanga (S-Shaped) form.
In Hindu mythology the meaning is less specific, and it is any statue or statuette, usually female, that breaks the monotony of a plain wall or space and thus enlivens it
The halo of the deity is kept empty, crowned by the sun bird Garuda clutching a pair of anthropomorphized serpents and framed by a pair of see monster(makara). On both sides of the throne beaked and (shardula) a mythical animal combination of sheep head and a lion body.
The influence of the Nepalese wood carving is taken from the ethnic background of its surroundings. Deriving inspiration from the culture that’s among the lifestyle of people, hence woodcarving speaks for itself.
The symbolic meaning comes through experiences. Taken back to 17th century the reincarnation of civilization was highly influenced by the economic and social society of lifestyle.

Worshipping snakes in Hindu culture holds greater importance, according to the Hindu mythology the Serpent is the representation of a deity. We worship a serpent deity and place it at the entrance of the door.
The main portion is occupied by tree spirits carved in the form of elegant female figures (shalabhanjika) with their legs crossed, grasping the branch of a tree with abundant foilage and fruits. They stand on supporting figures, squatting ascetics, musicians, all of which demonstrate the blessing of procreation.
The iconography became more diverse, covering manifestations of Durga, Bhairava and Krishna.
The tundal is covered in the shape of composite creature known as shardula, head of the sheep and body of the lion. As a protective mythic creature, it fends off enemies of the enshrined deity.

In Buddhist art, it means an image of a woman yakshi next to a tree in reference to the fact that the queen of Sakya was the birth mother of Siddhartha Gautam, the sage on which the teachings of buddha were found near the Sala tree giving birth to the Gautam.
In the eastern philosophy an artist never gives credit to themselves. They create their masterpiece and let their work speak in disguise. Their way of life is fully guided by religion.
Guarded by the protecting deities and a serpent from above, the door of the Dwarika pavement is guided by the Buddhist and eastern philosophy.
The Vajrayana philosophy of Buddhism conceived the idea that the world is composed of five cosmic elements, and they are symbolized by these five Dhyani Buddhas. Unlike historical figures like Gautama Buddha, these are transcendent beings who represent intangible forces and divine principles.
The attendants guard the five transcendental buddhas. The five transcendental buddhas is based on the Mahayana concept of the Buddhist philosophy.

Worshipping snakes in Hindu culture holds greater importance, according to the Hindu mythology the Serpent is the representation of a deity. We worship a serpent deity and place it at the entrance of the door.
The main portion is occupied by tree spirits carved in the form of elegant female figures (shalabhanjika) with their legs crossed, grasping the branch of a tree with abundant foilage and fruits. They stand on supporting figures, squatting ascetics, musicians, all of which demonstrate the blessing of procreation.
The iconography became more diverse, covering manifestations of Durga, Bhairava and Krishna.
The tundal is covered in the shape of composite creature known as shardula, head of the sheep and body of the lion. As a protective mythic creature, it fends off enemies of the enshrined deity.

Biman Jhya

The beauty of Newa Art is that, just as other Nepali art forms, it is rich in detail, lively, capable of influencing even connoisseurs of art around the world. When we look at the structure of the window frame, we see a combination of elements which mimics a miniature shrine with its pair of free-standing columns, supporting a roof like entablature above and resting atop a large, decorative pedestal, like a building plinth.

Biman jhhya is known for its highly valued window. Biman jhya was the respresentation of a higher class and was kept in the palaces, temple and highly valued places.

Bhairav is carved on each section of the window with the horses on the edge, we will come to- why is horse carved at the edge of the window when we go around the ram palace. Where we will see about the sun window and moon window.

The window is also carved with toran. Toran is known as the gateway or pass. Toran is the name in Hinduism of a sacred or honorific gateway in Buddhist architecture. Its typical form is a projecting the temple shrines carved in the toran. Torans are the first thing that welcomes guests as it not only enhances the charm of the main entrance but also gives friendly welcome to the guest.

Taken aback, Nepal was culturally enclosed in caste system the lower-class people couldn’t enter the temple thus, they used to worship the toran from outside.

Bhairav is known as the protecting deities. The Bhairav meant to demonstrate power, affluence and supreme sophistication by incorporating balcony windows flanking a central window frame from each side. The transformation of the Courtyard windows into a museum space aims at presenting the original spatial configuration of the north, west and south wings and its main exhibit. These wings date to the early 17th century.

Social Responsible

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