Following the footsteps of the famous Nepali artisan, sculptors take their skills to Japan

When he was younger, Manjul Baraili would be chiseling away into stone to create sculptures while his friends played marbles nearby. He dreamed one day of becoming like Arniko, the famous Nepali artisan who took Kathmandu Valley’s architecture to Kublai Khan’s court in Beijing in the 15th century. 

“I imagined myself in Arniko’s place,” 37-year-old Baraili says. “But even though it was easy to dream, I needed tremendous help from others to realise the dreams.” 

Ten years ago, Baraili organised a press conference in Urlabari to announce that he would gift 1,000 statues of famous Nepali figures to be placed all over Nepal. His stone sculpture of the Goddess Bindhyabasini is in Naikap, the stone figure of Kirat spiritual leader Falgunanda is in Sankranti Bazar of Tehrathum, and Bhanubhakta Acharya’s figure adorns Damak in Jhapa.