Emerging Mosque Architecture (New Architectural vocabulary in Secular Nepal)

Document Type : Original Paper


1 President, S (settlement-society-sustainability) 3 Alliance: Development Forum for Habitat, Kathmandu, Nepal.

2 Researcher, S (settlement-society-sustainability) 3 Alliance: Development Forum for Habitat, Kathmandu, Nepal.


Though Muslims have been living in Nepal from the 15th century, they have started practicing
their religious activities freely only after enactment of new civil code in 1963. This paper aims to explore the potentials and problems on the existing mosques, perception of the religious structures by Muslim community and analysing of existing legal and institutional framework before drawing a conclusion. The research methodology consists of combination of field visit and collection of detailed information, structured questionnaire survey and consultation with local leaders and municipal staffs. Detailed analysis of ‘Jame Masjid’ in Kathmandu and another ‘Masjid’ at Trishuli Bazaar in Bidur reveals that these mosques have become the centre of practising Islamic culture, promoting brotherhood among Muslim communities, learning place of Islamic education, besides their sentimental attachment. Social harmony between Muslims and other religious communities together with coexistence of mosques and ‘madrasa’ with Hindu religious structures in the same vicinity has presented a unique situation. However, inadequate information, low level of awareness among the mosque visitors and above all lack of government’s specific plans and policies
have hampered the conservation and development of mosque architectural and Islamic culture. To reverse this trend,development of mosques as Islamic cultural and community development centre, incorporation of salient features ofIslamic culture into local planning and building codes as well as in school syllabus and networking with domestic and international organisations working for local development is suggested.


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