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Sinja valley

Date of Submission: 30/01/2008
Criteria: (ii)(iii)
Category: Cultural
Submitted by:
Department of Archaeology
State, Province or Region:
Jumla District, Karnali Zone, Mid-West Nepal
Coordinates: N29 19 28 E81 58 57
Ref.: 5263

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


Sinja Valley contains the archaeological evidence of the capital city of the well organized and influential Western Malla or Khasa Kingdom of the 12th and 14th Century. After the 14th Century the Khasa Kingdom split into the Baise or Twenty-Two Kingdoms which existed until the unification of Nepal in the late 18th Century. Excavations have revealed the remains of old palaces, temples (Kanak Sundari, Tripura Sundari) and the old settlement. A remarkable ring of huge monolithic stone columns were found surrounding the ruins of the ancient settlement with a Malla gateway and steps. Earthen pipes were excavated testifying to an elaborate water supply system. Across from the Hima River there are caves with ancient votive Buddhist chaityas and cliff inscriptions. Even today the ancient rites of the Masto (Shamans) are practiced in many of the stone Dewals or temples. 

The Sinja Valley was where the Nepali language originates from and the earliest examples of the Devanagari script from the 13th Century were found on the cliffs and in nearby Dullu.

Statements of authenticity and/or integrity

To establish the authenticity of the place, excavations have been carried out by the Department of Archaeology and Cambridge University. The archeological sites are in good condition.

Comparison with other similar properties

There are several sites in the area which originate from the Khasa Kingdom such as the Surkhet Valley, the site of the Kankre Bihar and Dullu where various structures have been found; Pancha Dewal, Stone columns and the ruins of palaces. With further research it would be possible to consider the nomination of this site within the context of the ancient Uttar Pata or Northern Route which linked the Gangetic plains to Western Tibet and the Silk Route.