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Nancy Tingley and Nutandhar Sharma. Celestial Realms: The Art of Nepal from California Collections

Legend has it that Manjushri came from his mountaintop in China to visit the sacred sites in Nepal, only to discover the Kathmandu valley flooded. He sliced through the surrounding mountains with his sword, releasing the waters, and thus creating a habitable environment for man. As the waters receded, a sacred lotus settled on the hilltop where the Svayambhu stupa now stands. Archaeological evidence indicates that humans arrived in the valley 30,000 years ago, while inscriptions and pilgrims’ journals provide us with a dynastic (and now a Republican) chronology that begins with the Licchavi (400-880) and continues through to the present day.

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