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The Medieval Town of Tansen

Date of Submission: 30/01/2008
Criteria: (iii)(iv)(vi)
Category: Cultural
Submitted by:
Department of Archaeology
State, Province or Region:
Palpa District, Lumbini Zone, West Nepal
Coordinates: N27 50 56 E83 33 54
Ref.: 5262

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Property names are listed in the language in which they have been submitted by the State Party


Tansen, the capital of Palpa district, is a typical traditional town of Western Nepal located at an altitude of 1372 meters on the southern slope of the Shreenagar hill. The history of Tansen started from around the 11th Century AD when the region was part of the Bara Magarat, the twelve territories administered by the Magar rulers. The town developed as a market centre for the Newari traders and artisans famous for their metal and dhaka (cloth) industry. Tansen is a testament to the living heritage and architecture of the Newari people. 

Various ruins can be found from the Sen Period (15th to 18th Century). The compact settlement boasts numerous temples, monastries and sculptures such as the Bhairab Temple, the Purankot Durbar, the Srinagar Durbar (Fort), the Bansha Gopal, the Mukundeshwar Mahadev, the Amar Narayan Temple, the Ran-Ujjeshwari Bhagawati Temple and the Tansen Durbar.

Statements of authenticity and/or integrity

The restoration of the main monuments has been ongoing over the years. The main palace complex and adjacent buildings were destroyed by fire during an armed conflict in January 2006, however these are being restored.  The surrounding town still retains its original character.

Comparison with other similar properties

The Medieval Town of Tansen can be compared to the settlements within the Kathmandu Valley, however of a different significance due to its particular history and location.