Ronald Brunskill has defined vernacular architecture as : (Source:Wikipedia)

…A building designed by an amateur without any training in design; the individual will have been guided by a series of conventions built up in his locality, paying little attention to what may be fashionable. The function of the building would be the dominant factor, aesthetic considerations, though present to some small degree, being quite minimal. Local materials would be used as a matter of course, other materials being chosen and imported quite exceptionally.

Volume 21 features the exteriors and interiors of the traditional houses of Nigale village, Dhankuta, Nepal. The building material, temple architecture, roof structure, local material and site surroundings are presented well in this blog post. Click on the image for full resolution views.

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My Grandfather’s house

The traditional house at this village uses timber and mud mortar as prime building material. The CGI sheets are added later on due to the availabilty and needs. My grand father shared with me that these Jasta pata (CGI sheets) were added later as soon as the road network were connected to these vilage. These house main entrance faces to east direction. The view shown in the picture is the rear end consisting one open courtyard and facing another house (locked house in photo 2). The courtyard was used commonly as a space to dry the food material and in festive ceremony. Sometimes in winter even the goats and their family used to sit nearby to take sun bath. The courtyard houses one 14 feet tall maize structure (called makai ko thakro) to store the harvested maize.

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Locked house at Nigale village.

With increasing number of Nepalese youth moving to gulf countries, the living standard of people staying here at this village premises are increasing substantially. Therefore people from these up hill village migrates to down hill city and terai (Dharan,Biratnagar,Itahari) for quality education, accessibility et cetera . And these traditional house are locked with key with no any human dwelling. Only the house exist but the sense of traditional values still bring into being for new urban people and lifestyle visiting there.

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Entry platform
Entry platform

The entry portion has ample sitting space. Ground floor consist Kitchen and dining in joint form, Two bed rooms. First floor consist of store room for daily purpose of kitchen and two bed room. The top portion houses the massive storage for food crops. Every floor is accessed through timber stairs.

Interiors :

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Now a days traditional beds have lost their identity. The modern box bed are preferred by the people either by buying at the city area or during their marriage ceremony (getting assets in terms of dowry system)

Gallery views : Click the image below for better resolution

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The ground floor of the cattle house consist a place to prepare the food for animal. Cattle house lies few meters away from the main complex of the house.
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First floor of cattle house consist a place to store foods , herbs, shurbs, fodder for cows, goat etc
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Grinding machine (Jatto in nepali)

Gallery views : Click the image below for better resolution

Returning away from Grandfather’s house : Gallery views : Click the image below for better resolution

Temple architecture : Click the image below for better resolution

Site surroundings : Click the image below for better resolution

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