Over time, as the dynamic forces of change continue to shape our world, we and our cultures keep evolving, the role and purpose of our spaces adapt accordingly. Anil Chitrakar’s insight into the making of Patna Dhoka, designed primarily for defense, underscores the intrinsic connection between the space and the needs of its inhabitants. This space was meticulously tailored to optimally fulfill the functions essential to the people of its time.
In the historical context, the open areas within Patan Dhoka served as sanctuaries for regal horses and as resting stops for those arriving from afar. The dhunge dhara, strategically positioned, provided water for drinking and purification before pilgrims continued to temples for prayers. Structures like the Falcha, resting areas, leading to the permanent homes. This reflection highlighted the multifaceted nature of communal spaces and how it was designed to serve and guide through certain functions.
Fast forward to the present, where the serene landscape has transformed into a bustling cityscape dominated by scooters and bikes. The once essential dhara and falcha have yielded to the convenience of readily available water and food in shops. Traditional buildings having cultural values are turned into modern alternatives like Airbnb.
Contemplating the future, the trajectory of change appears inevitable, given the rapid pace of transformation. In the upcoming century, one can anticipate further shifts in our surroundings. Public spaces are likely to evolve, catering to the changing preferences of inhabitants. However, amidst these changes, the essence of human connection and community should remain paramount. Regardless of evolving systems and the passage of time, recognizing the fundamental social nature of humanity is crucial. The commitment to building and sustaining communities should endure as a constant, transcending the ever-changing landscape.
An inspiring revelation during the excursion was the concept of living heritage within Patan Mesum. Exploring tudal from the 7th century to the present day allows one to witness the continuum of history. Rather than preserving only the oldest tudal or romanticizing old traditions, the community focuses on creating new ones. This approach motivates artisans to keep their skills vibrant and continuously innovate. The practice is not just about preserving artifacts; it’s about sustaining skills, preventing a scenario where things are crafted once and stored away. The essence of living heritage, as I understand it, lies in embracing change.