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Directorate and Coordination

Prof. Dr. Christiane Brosius

Professor of Visual and Media Anthropology at the Heidelberg Centre for Transcultural Studies (HCTS). Christiane Brosius is conducting research on urban transformation in Patan as well as on artistic production and social change in Kathmandu Valley. She has been involved in PhotoKathmandu 2015, with ‘Patis in Patan’, a photographic ‘heritage walk’ co-curated with Sujan Chitrakar, School of Art and Design, Kathmandu University. Christiane also coordinated the funding of post-earthquake reconstruction of phalcas in Lalitpur (funded by Mohr Foundation), with Padma Sundar Maharjan.

Chair Website (Heidelberg Centre for Transcultural Studies)

Prof. Dr. Axel Michaels

Senior Professor and Vice President of the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences and Humanities, Axel Michaels has been researching on Newar rituals in Bhaktapur with Niels Gutschow, and is the project leader of the documentation project Documents on the History of Religion and Law of Pre-modern Nepal at the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences and Humanities. Axel Michaels has published widely on Nepalese culture and traditions, his latest publication being Kultur und Geschichte Nepals (Kröner 2018); English translation Culture and History of Nepal, forthcoming.

Website (Heidelberg Academy of Sciences and Humanities)

Ina Buchholz

Ina Buchholz graduated from Heidelberg University in 2009 with a Magistra Artium in Islamic Studies. After working in the Research Collaboratory “Ritual Dynamics”, she moved to the Cluster of Excellence “Asia and Europe” where she has been coordinating the Chairs “Visual Media Anthropology” and “Buddhist Studies” since 2009. Within the NDHP she overviews and monitors all administrative tasks, the monthly reports, and takes care of the financial matters. She is the connecting link between the Nepal and Heidelberg teams, the Saraf Foundation, and the administration of Heidelberg University and the Heidelberg Academy of Science and Humanities.

Varun Saraf

A third general hotelier Varun has a deep routed connection to Nepal. Having lived his formative years in Nepal, he has launched several social enterprises in the country. He oversees the activities at the Saraf Foundation for Himalayan Traditions and the Taragaon Museum. He is interested in waste management for which he can created a company that is managing 15 tons of waste in the city of Kathmandu on a daily basis. Further he is developing centre at the Sagarmatha National Park in the upper Khumbu region of Nepal to show how tourism, environment and sustainably can create a circular economy that benefits all stakeholders.

Roshan Mishra

Roshan is the Director at Taragaon Museum and a visual artist based in Kathmandu. He also manages the Nepal Architecture Archive (NAA), which is run by the Saraf Foundation for Himalayan Traditions and Culture, a patron organization of the Taragaon Museum. Since 2014, he has been affiliated with the Museum and has been working with its permanent collection, launching of the Contemporary Art Gallery and creation of a Library. He has been curating the external and internal exhibitions those are organized at the Taragaon Museum. 

Roshan is a visiting faculty at the Kathmandu University for research, archiving and documentation program.  He studied Fine Arts in Nepal and in the UK, and holds a Master’s Degree in Digital Art. Currently, he is doing his 2nd MA in Heritage Conservation and Traditional Architecture at the Lumbini Buddhist University in Kathmandu.


Dr. Manik Bajracharya

Dr. Manik Bajracharya is a Buddhist scholar and staff member of the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences and Humanities, where he is a member of the project Documents on the History of Religion and Law of Pre-modern Nepal. For the NHDP, he supervises translations, and specializes particularly in Newari terminology and works as a consultant.

Prof. Dr. Niels Gutschow

Niels Gutschow, born in 1941 in Hamburg as the son of an architect, first came to Nepal in 1962. He studied architecture in Darmstadt and returned to Bhaktapur in 1971 as a member of a team to restore the Pujarimath. During the 1970s his research focused on Urban Space and Ritual; later he shifted toward architectural surveys which materialised in two major publications (among many others): The Nepalese Caitya. 1500 Years of Buddhist Votive Architecture in the Kathmandu Valley (1997) and Architecture of the Newars. A History of Building Typologies and Details in Nepal (2011). For a period of 45 years, his attention has been strongly drawn to the urban rituals of Bhaktapur. Gutschow lives between residences in Tahaja (near Bhaktapur) and Abtsteinach (Germany). Since 2003, he has been an Honorary Professor at the South Asia Institute of Heidelberg University. Within the NHDP pilot, Niels Gutschow heads the architectural documentation of the arcaded platforms (phalca).”

Heidelberg Team

Meet the Heidelberg Team responsible for the project's data management, system administration and workflow documentation.

Matthias Arnold

Matthias Arnold graduated from Heidelberg University in 2003 with a Magister Artium in East Asian Art History, Classical Chinese and European Art History. As a member of the Heidelberg Research Architecture he coordinated the development of various digitization and database projects. Within the NHDP he is responsible for managing visual resources and metadata quality, as well as overseeing data sustainability. Together with Dr. Karmacharya he conceptualizes the development of the Arches platform.

Visit HCTS Staff Page.

Dr. Ashish Karmacharya

In 2011, Dr. Ashish Karmacharya received his Ph.D. from the University of Burgundy, Dijon, France in the field of Information Science. His research focused on the integration of semantic frameworks into spatial technology. He is currently associated with i3mainz, a research institute of Mainz University of Applied Sciences as a research scientist, and has been involved in research projects on the application of semantic technologies including computer vision, data science, GIS and cultural heritage. Within the NHDP, Dr. Karmacharya is responsible for the development of the ARCHES platform and system administration.

Dr. Rajan Kathiwoda

Rajan received his PhD in Classical Indology from Heidelberg University and MA in Classical Indology from Nepal Sanskrit University. He has been a Research Assistant and Cataloguer at the Nepalese-German Manuscript Cataloguing Project (NGMCP) at the Nepal Research Centre (NRC) in Kathmandu for 9 years (2004-2013). In June 2019, he joined the NHDP as a research associate. Within NHDP, he will revise the data entered into ‘Digital Archives of Nepalese Arts and Monuments’ (DANAM), add historical research, make glossary and monitor the overall status of work that is being done in Patan and Heidelberg. In addition to his work for the NHDP he is also a research associate in the “Mulukī Ain Translation Project” headed by Prof. Axel Michaels. 

Mhairi Montgomery

Mhairi Montgomery will soon hold an M.A. degree in Transcultural Studies at Heidelberg University, and is now an MSt student of Women's Studies at the University of Oxford. She joined the NHDP in June 2019 and is responsible for proofreading the English language texts uploaded to DANAM.

Dr. Ramhari Timalsina

After studying Classical Indology and Linguistics at Nepal Sanskrit University and Tribhuvan University, Ramhari Timalsina received his doctoral degree in Classical Indology from Göttingen University. Since April 2018, he has been working as a research fellow at the research unit ‘Documents on the History of Religion and Law of Premodern Nepal’ of the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences and Humanities. His research for the NHDP is concerned with the inscriptions, historical documents and other textual sources related to the monuments.

Dikshya Karki

Dikshya Karki is a researcher on Nepali arts and currently a PhD candidate at the Heidelberg Centre for Transcultural Studies. She holds an MA degree in Arts & Aesthetics from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. She worked as a researcher for the project “Rethinking Art, Patis in Patan” and its exhibition in Photo Kathmandu 2015 as well as for a retrospective exhibition of Nepali artist Birendra Pratap Singh. For NHDP, she contributes to the arrangement of visual and textual materials.

Lizeth Ortiz

Lizeth Ortiz is an MA student of Transcultural Studies at Heidelberg University. She holds a B.A in Anthropology (2015) and a Specialization Degree in Do-No-Harm approaches and Peace building (2017) from National University of Colombia. She worked as a student assistant for the Chair of Visual and Media Anthropology at the Heidelberg Centre for Transcultural Studies (HCTS). Within the NHDP she contributes to the revision and management of literature and visual resources of the project.

Charlotte von Waitz

Charlotte von Waitz is studying Anthropology (B.A.) at Heidelberg University, with a keen interest in Nepali language and culture as well as urban anthropology and art history. Within the NHDP she is participating in the data gathering about phalcās (public resthouses) and ethnographic research about their usage by the local communities.

Nepal Team

Meet the Nepal Team, including architects, photographers, draftsmen, religio-historical and anthropological researchers, web developers and database programmers.

Anil Basukala

Since studying at the Lalit Kala Campus of Fine Arts, Kathmandu, in 1991, Anil Basukala has been working predominantly as a specialist for measured drawings and heritage architecture surveys. As a draftsman, he has been involved in several major projects with Prof. Dr. Niels Gutschow in Nepal, India, Cambodia and Mongolia (1994-2004). His contributions to architectural history and documentation are widely regarded as products of art, demonstrating his capacity to treat a drawing as more than just a technical aid. In addition to this, he has been working as an overseer for several restoration and rebuilding projects, such as the Itumbaha Restoration Project in Kathmandu, where he ensures that materials are treated carefully, and that the quality of work is upheld. Basukala is also involved in the post-earthquake reconstruction of Patan Durbar Square. Within the NHDP, Basukala is working as a draftsman and contributes to the documentation of arcaded resthouses (phalcha).

Bijay Basukala

Bhaktapur-born engineer and draftsman Bijay Basukala began working on monument documentation with the help of a scholarship from the Bhaktapur Development Project as early as 1984. An expert in Newari architecture, he has been involved in a long-standing and in-depth work collaboration with Prof. Dr. Niels Gutschow since 1987. His work has included the documentation and restoration of Vambaha and Subaha, the Butwal and Godavari temple complexes. Basukala worked with the Kathmandu Valley Preservation Trust to guide the restoration of the Kulimha Narayana temple in Patan, Itumbaha in Kathmandu. He has been the leader of a project to rebuild the Harishankara Temple on Patan's Darbar Square since 2015. In addition to this, his work has led him to survey heritage architecture internationally, most notably in Cambodia (Preah Ko temple complex) and Mongolia (Erdene Zu temple complex). Within the NHDP, Basukala creates architectural drawings and works on the documentation of arcaded resthouses (phalcha).

Yogesh Budathoki

Yogesh Budathoki has worked as a photographer in two long-term heritage documentation projects: the NGMPP (Nepal German Manuscript Preservation Project) and its successor, the NGMCP (Nepal-German Manuscript Cataloguing Project). For NHDP, Budathoki works mainly as a photographer, digitizer and contributor of scientific metadata inputs at the Kathmandu office. He also is a staff member of the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences and Humanities (Documents on the History of Religion and Law of Pre-modern Nepal).

Sekhar Dongol

Sekhar Dongol, an architect by profession (B. Arch, IOE) has been involved with John Sanday Associates since 2006. He worked as an assistant field director for the heritage conservation and restoration of various monasteries in Upper Mustang. Within the NHDP, he creates architectural drawings of monuments. He is currently taking over from Sabina whilst she is on maternity leave.

Ashish Gautam

After studying Information Technology at Bengaluru, India, Ashish Gautam focused on the implementation and development of digital heritage documentation in Nepal. His expertise is built on work for UNESCO Nepal and his work within the NHDP is focused on the development of the Arches platform as well as collaboration with the DoA.

Nashib Kafle

Holding a double degree in Media Studies from Kathmandu University / Nepal as well as an MA in Health and Society in South Asia from Heidelberg University / Germany, his work experience ranges from journalism and social science research, communications management and photography to data processing and work coordination. Within the NHDP, Nashib Kafle has a hands-on role in photographic documentation and assists with the coordination of the documentation work and office management.

Padma Sundar Maharjan

An architect by profession (B.Arch, IOE), Padma Sundar Maharjan is currently working on heritage conservation. He worked as senior site architect for the reconstruction of four temples destroyed by the 2015 earthquake in Kathmandu Darbār square (UNESCO World Heritage Site) under the Kathmandu Valley Preservation trust (KVPT). Maharjan is setting up the “Traditional Buildings Inventory” (TBI) in Nepal. He also has been a lecturer at the Himalayan college of Engineering, Pātan since 2010.

Bharat Maharjan

Bharat Maharjan graduated with honors from Tribhuvan University (TU), Kathmandu in 2014 with a Master’s degree in Newari Language and Culture (Nepalbhasa) after receiving his B.A. in Sociology from Shahid Smarak College in 2012. He is currently associated with TU as a Masters student of Nepalese History, Culture and Archaeology. He also graduated as a painter from Lalit Kala Campus of Fine Arts in 2009. He is currently working as a teacher at the Central Department of Nepalbhasa of TU and also works at Tribhuvan University Press. Before this, he worked as a Research Assistant as part of the Inscripton Inventory Project of Patan Municipality. Within the NHDP, he is working on historical as well as linguistic sources.

Thomas Schrom

An architect and restauration expert works as documentation consultant with NHDP in Nepal. Here, he supervises the in situ architectural dcumentation work of monastic courtyards (baha/bahi) and other monuments in Patan and Kathmandu. Schrom has been active in Nepal and Bhutan since 1991 and has been engaged in restauration projects such as the Patan Museum, Patan Palace (Darbar). Following the 2015 earthquake, he worked on the Post Disaster Needs Assessment (cultural sector) under the Nepal Government and UNESCO Nepal. Since 2016, Schrom has been working closely with the Department of Archaeology on the establishment of the digital "Cultural Heritage Information Systems" (CHIMS).

Bishwo Bijaya Shah

After studying Information Technology at Bengaluru, India, Bishwo Bijaya Shah focused on the implementation and development of digital heritage documentation in Nepal. His expertise is built on work for UNESCO Nepal and his work within the NHDP is focused on the development of the Arches platform as well as collaboration with the DoA.

Ravi Shakya

Ravi Shakya, historian and lecturer of Newari (Nepalbhasa) graduated with honors from Patan Multiple Campus (B.A.) and later from Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu (M.A.). Today he teaching Nepalbhasa at Tribhuvan University. He also received training in Social Science and Humanities Research Methodology at the Research Centre for Nepal and Asian Studies (CNAS) as well as the Lotus Research Centre (LRC) of TU. Within the NHDP, Shakya is working on the documentation of Newari resources and the history of heritage architecture.

Sabina Tandukar (maternity leave)

An architect by profession (B.Arch, IOE), Sabina Tandukar is associated with Rich Architectures Co. where she primarily works in heritage documentation and preservation. She was involved in the restoration and reconstruction of four temples in Kathmandu Darbār square (UNESCO World Heritage Site) under Kathmandu Valley Preservation trust (KVPT). She also worked as an archivist at Nepal Architectural Archive, supported by Saraf Foundation for Himalayan Traditions.


Funding Source