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Nepal Mandala (Devanagari: ????? ?????) is an ancient region marked by cultural, religious and political boundaries which lies in central Nepal. It consists of the Kathmandu Valley and surrounding areas.
According to the Outline History of Nepal, present-day Nepal consisted of three kingdoms during the early medieval period: Khas in the west, Karnatak in the south and Nepal Mandala in the center.
The extent of Nepal Mandala has been traditionally defined by the locations of 64 Hindu and 24 Buddhist pilgrimage sites. The Hindu shrines consist of 64 Shiva lingas scattered from Brahmeswar in Nuwakot district in the west to Bhimeswar in Dolakha District in the east.
The 24 Buddhist pilgrimage sites are spread from the Trishuli River in the west to Dolalghat in the east. When seen as an ordered pattern, they form the picture of the mandala of Chakrasamvara, the principal deity of Vajrayana Buddhism. Nepal Mandala was conceived on the basis of the Chakrasamvara Mandala.
Francis Buchanan-Hamilton has written in An Account of the Kingdom Of Nepal published in 1819 that four pilgrimage spots marked the boundaries of Nepal Proper: Nilkantha (an eight-day journey north from Kathmandu), Nateswar (three days to the south), Kaleswar (two days to the west) and Bhimeswar (four days to the east).
The Buddhist text Manjushrimula Kalpa has mentioned Manadeva (reigned 464-506 AD) as being the king of Nepal Mandala. The term Nepal Mandala also appears in the popular Buddhist text Swayambhu Purana. It occurs in a stone inscription at Gyaneswar, Kathmandu dating from the eighth century during the reign of Licchavi king Jayadeva II.
The term Nepal Mandala has been used through the centuries in stone and copper inscriptions and the colophons of manuscripts when mentioning the dedicator's address. It is also referred to during important Buddhist ceremonies.
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11. Tamot, Kashinath (2006). Nepal Mandala. Lalitpur: Nepal Mandala Research Guthi. ISBN 99946-987-5-3. Page 11.
12. Shrestha, Rajendra (7 November 2010). "Various Communities of Historical Nepal Mandala and Newah Autonomous State". Jheegu Swanigah (Special Issue). Page 60.
13. Gutschow, Niels (1997). "The Kathmandu Valley, Nepal Mandala: Definition of time and space" in The Nepalese caitya: 1500 years of Buddhist votive architecture in the Kathmandu Valley. Edition Axel Menges. ISBN 3930698757, 9783930698752. Page 15.
This article uses material from the Wikipedia article "Nepal Mandala", which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.