Farewell to the Bagmati civilisation: Losing riverscape and nation in Kathmandu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Kathmandu reaches of the Bagmati River are widely characterised as severely degraded. This article explores the rhetorical life and death of the concept of a 'Bagmati civilisation': a particular configuration of history, cultural identity and river ecology espoused by a prominent Nepali river restorationist. Following the 2001 imposition of a state of emergency in Nepal, the architect of the Bagmati civilisation idea declared that the civilisation, and by extension the river's ecological health, may never be restored. This rhetorical gesture illuminates connections between the 'life' of an urban riverscape and the cultural idea of the state and the nation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)127-142
Number of pages16
JournalNational Identities
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2007


  • Bagmati River
  • Kathmandu
  • National Identity
  • Restoration
  • Urban Ecology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • General Environmental Science
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


Dive into the research topics of 'Farewell to the Bagmati civilisation: Losing riverscape and nation in Kathmandu'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this