Introduction

Already from childhood I was intensely interested in art and architecture. When I finished school I wanted to study fine arts but my father convinced me to study law. Fortunately I could also study fine arts simultaneously. My ambition, curiosity, and hard work helped me to complete four bachelor degrees; in Law, Fine Arts, History and Management by 1993. After the death of my father I needed to work to support myself and my family. Luckily I got the chance to work in the restoration of Patan Museum where I learned a lot about Nepali Architecture.

In 1993 I went to Germany to do further study in sculpture. After completing a semester, I decided to do a Master’s Degree in Development Policy. I was able to complete this study with distinction which paved the way for me to join the GTZ (German Technical Cooperation). I worked happily for them in the beginning but slowly started to realize that actually I was born to conserve. My heart always wept when beautiful old houses were pulled down mercilessly and took an ugly concrete shape. It was not that easy to leave a very well paid job and start something which did not have any perceivable future. But still I decided to listen to the voice of my heart. I resigned and started to do restoration. In the beginning everyone thought I had gone mad. Thank God, already my first work became the talk of the town and even the Bhaktapur Municipality declared it the “Model House”. In 2004 I had the honour to be the first Nepali awarded with the Asia Pacific Cultural Heritage Award, Honorable Mention, which encouraged me as well as others, very much. My hobby became my profession. I started to restore old houses and build new ones in traditional style. After completing more than 60 projects, I now have a few ambitious dreams. To fulfill these dreams I founded the Rabindra Puri Foundation for Conservation.

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