Panauti integrated Project
Situated 35 km southwest of Katmandou, Panauti is a small Newar towm which counts less than 10 000 inhabitants. In the 13th century, Panauti was an independent principality - a few vestiges of the palace or “durbar” square can still be seen in the town centre. At the end of the 13th century, Panauti was integrated into the new unified kingdom of Nepal, built by Prithvi Narayan Shah. Along with Kathmandu, Patan and Bakthapur, the three former capital cities of the Kathmandu valley, Panauti, which houses a variety of Buddhist and Hindu religious monuments, can be considered one of the area’s most important medieval cities.
From 1991 to the end of the 1990s, a programme of cooperation financed counterpart fund of French food assistance enabled the complete renovation of a number of religious monuments and historical buildings, the cleansing of the old town through a network of sewers, and the building of several schools. Some one hundred-fifty unskilled local workers were recruited to complete these renovation and construction projects. The executive staff was composed of qualified Nepalese craftsmen and a team of French volunteers of the national service.
It is important to mention that Panauti is a privileged place of Franco-Nepalese cooperation, with the notable presence for several decades of C.N.R.S. researchers who established their base for research concerning the Newar community.