Overview of Nepali Literature

Nepali literature encompasses two areas:

  • The ancient spiritual-religious classics from the ancient Vedic period that saw the formation of Nepali-Indian civilization and related spiritual philosophic treatises millenia ago (the Vedas, Puranas, and also a number of other works relating today to day living, Nature, and humankind’s core and utilitarian activities — Vastu Shastra, the Kama Sutra, and medical & wellbeing treatises, are examples of these) through to related mythological works and folklore related traditions recorded in written form (in the case of the latter, this has been much more recent since such traditions until quite recent times were almost exclusively communicated verbally
  • Socio-cultural modern works such as novels and short stories, that deal with more experiential subject matters about the human condition, and day to day life

The literature of Nepal takes us perhaps most directly to the heart of the Nepali people, and forms a dynamic introduction to Nepali thought and broader culture, and the nation and people’s history from the earliest of times to the present.
This section of the website includes not only a selection of valuable links to articles and information about Nepali literature (from poetry to short stories), but also a invaluable article about ‘Nepali Literature in English,’ by Professor. Dr. Padma P. Devkota: the piece kindly provided and advised by the renowned Nepali Gurkha community, international writer, poet and musician, D.B. Gurung (NIAP principal literature advisor).

Free-thought versus oppression and related thought-control, existential crisis, social change, struggles between ‘traditional culture influenced social norms of expected behaviour/choices, and the needs and experience of the individual.’ The timeless issues of the human spirit battling with corruption and hierarchical systems, the story of the imprint of the land and rural life across the ages, and especially now in an age of country-to-city drift, the day-to-day life of the city.

All of these and many more topics appear in the world of Nepali contemporary literature (with of course in some cases echoes of these found in the prose, poems and even epics of earlier and ancient, times).
Religious and spiritual philosophic ancient and classical writings, that inform the lives and thoughts of many of Nepal’s people in ways dynamic and contemporary, as well as those of ages old custom and tradition (guru to follower, and temple and monastery learning and study contexts) also feature in .

So too, appears touching intimacy, and the shadow of inspiration and great beauty shed by the natural environment of Nepal, the geographical bridge between southern and eastern Asian lands and cultures, with ages old blending of the latter that cannot be found in any other part of the world in such a concentrated and evolved kind.

Nepali Literature thematic areas articles and links:

Nepali Literature:
Encyclopaedia Britannica … read more.

Nepali literature Wikipedia … read more.

Nepali Literature: A Brief History …. read more.

Nepalese writers Wikipedia … read more.

Abhi Subedi’s Nepalese Literature: background and History (Sajha 1978):

The future of Nepali Literature, by Manjushree Thapa …. read more.

Literature in the Age of Free Thought Also from Manjushree Thapa …. read more.

Other Nepali Literature articles by Manjushree Thapa …. read more.


The Sanskrit-Buddhist Literature of Nepal:
Digital Buddhist Canon: A Short History of Sanskrit Buddhist Manuscripts ….. read more.

New Spotlight News Magazine article ‘The Sanskrit Buddhist Literature of Nepal’ by Dr Bipin Adhikari …. read more.

Open Library resource: Sanskrit Buddhist Literature of Nepal …. read more.

Some further useful articles and links:

Nepali literature:

The body of writings in the Nepali language of Nepal. Before the Gurkha (Gorkha) conquest of Nepal in 1768, Nepalese writings were in Sanskrit and Newari as well as Nepali …. read more.

Source: Britannica.com website

Nepal Bhasa Literature:

Nepal Bhasa literature refers to literature in Nepal Bhasa. The language has the fourth oldest literature among the Sino-Tibetan languages … read more.

Source:  Wikipedia website

Nepali Folk & General Nepali Literature overview:

Nepali culture is a composite culture …. read more.

Source: Nawinlamichaney.blogspot website