14.02.2012 - UNESCO Office in Kathmandu

Lo Manthang’s nomination for UNESCO World Heritage List under preparation

©UNESCO/A. PlatheFour large Chhortens as seen from the terrace of Jampa Lakhang, Lo Manthang walled city

The preparation of a nomination dossier for including the city of Lo Manthang in the World Heritage List will start soon, as a request of the Government of Nepal for support under UNESCO’s World Heritage Fund was recently approved.

Lying on a plateau at 3800 m above sea level, the medieval earthen walled city of Lo Manthang is the capital of the former Kingdom of Lo in Upper Mustang.  The settlement is surrounded by a 6-meter high earthen wall with square towers or dzong on the corners. Within the walls there exists a compact settlement of earthen structures. 

The main monuments found within the walls are the palace and monasteries of Jampa Lakhang and Thupchen Lakhang from the 15th Century and the monastery of Choede Lakhang from the 18th Century. There are several rows of chhortens and mane walls within the settlement and along the circumambulatory path directly outside the wall. 

Lo Manthang was included by the Government of Nepal in the tentative list of World Heritage since 2008.

Bishnu Karki, Director-General of the Department of Archaeology said: “Lo Manthang is the only well preserved walled city in Nepal.  We believe that it has outstanding universal value and is therefore fit for the World Heritage List.

“It’s inscription would be very timely as the city is heavily threatened for example through its bad state of preservation.  The inscription process will help us to foster our conservation and management mechanisms involving local stakeholders, community leaders and national experts in the coming two years.”  

<h5>If included in the World Heritage List by UNESCO World Heritage Committee, a 21 member intergovernmental body, Lo Manthang would become Nepal’s fifth World Heritage property after Kathmandu Valley (1979), Sagarmatha National Park (1979), Chitwan National Park (1984) and Lumbini, the Birthplace of the Lord Buddha (1997).</h5>

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