In the mid 1950s, Shridhar Lal Manandhar and his elder brother Giridhari Lal roamed the streets of New Road, taking pictures with a Rolleicord camera brought to Kathmandu by their father Thakur Lal. Since their father, a famous scholar of Newari history, often traveled to Europe for work, he brought back cameras and other equipment, giving Shreedhar an access to photography that was largely beyond the reach of most Nepalis.
Shridhar’s family were disciples of a famous sadhu – Shivapuri Baba. Thakur Lal, who later co-wrote a book on the holy man, would sometimes take along photographers to take his photos. But the Baba didn’t like too many strangers arriving at his ashram and asked Thakur Lar to teach somebody in the family to take photos. Thakur Lal encouraged his sons to learn photography, giving them money to buy equipment.
Shridhar recalls that his brother Giridhari Lal was also an excellent photographer, and that he learned a lot from his brother. But, Giridhari Lal chose a different field of study. Shreedhar, however, spent his entire life in photography.
It is impossible to imagine a history of Nepali photography without Shridhar Lal Manandhar. His work ranges from commercial to nature and landscape photography as well as photojournalism. The wealth of images he has created is invaluable in the documentation and our understanding of the history of Nepali people. This exhibition celebrates his wide ranging and influential career, one that has served as an inspiration for generations of Nepali photographers that followed.