The Saraf Foundation provides and receives grants to encourage partnerships with national and international organizations working on issues related to the Himalayan region.

We provide financial and technical assistance to impactful projects that elevate the discourse of Nepali art, environment, heritage, and ecological sustainability.

Heidelberg University and the Nepal Heritage Documentation Project (NHDP)

The Nepal Heritage Documentation Project (NHDP) is the largest inventory of content relating to Nepalese architecture after the inventory of Carl Pruscha. It documents endangered monuments and cultural heritage sites of Nepal and is highly focused on the recording of Baha, Bahil and Falcha from Kathmandu, Lalitpur and Bhaktapur.

The NHDP also explores monuments outside of Kathmandu Valley that hold intangible connections to Kathmandu Valley monuments. This project was formed to share learnings from decades of historical and anthropological research, using modern documentation standards and open access data-sets. The information collected has been merged into a database system named the Digital Archive of Nepalese Arts and Monuments (DANAM).

The project is supported by the cooperation of two German academic institutions: the Heidelberg Center for Transcultural Studies (HCTS) and the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences and Humanities (HADW). The project receives funding as well as technical assistance in the public domain through these institutions.

The 2018-2020 pilot phase was funded by Arcadia and functions under the coordination of Prof. Christiane Brosius and Prof. Axel Michaels. The Saraf Foundation is a key project partner and representative from Nepal that will maintain the database after the completion of the project.

Gerda Henkel Stiftung

The Thabang Village in Rolpa District and Taka Village in Rukum District of Nepal were selected as sites for the architectural documentation project of Rural Settlement and Vernacular Architecture. Both villages belong to the Magar ethnicity from western Nepal.

This project was initiated to document rural settlements of Nepal, as the country’s rural areas are on the verge of modernization and losing their traditional architectural heritage. The Gerda Henkel Stiftung and Saraf Foundation provide financial support and technical assistance, respectively, to this project.

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