Nepali handicrafts date back to the 4th century B.C.; the ‘Kautilya Artha Sastra’ of Chanakya Bishnu Gupta (Kautilya) mentions woolen blanket. During the time of the Lichchhavis (3rd and 4th century A.D.), Nepali bronze artifacts were treasured by the Tibetans. Nepali handicrafts like sculptured ornaments, religious idols and statuettes in gold, silver, bronze, brass, stone and wood and embossed with semi-precious stones were very popular in India and China during the medieval period.
Nepali handicrafts are deeply rooted in the socio-religious and cultural lives of the people, and can be divided into two main categories: articles of daily use and artifacts/articles of aesthetic value and religious significance. The ethnic utilitarian handicrafts are like : khal–lohara (pestle and mortar),amkhora (water pot), anti (wine jar), sukunda (oil lamp), kuruwa (water jar), thaal (plate), kachaura (saucer), kasaudi (cooking pot), chulesi (vegetable cutter), gagri (water pitcher), khukri (gorkha knife) and dhakki (basket). In present times, the Nepali handicraft industry is dependent on tourism and export. Artifacts of aesthetic value like bronze figures, wooden artwork, traditional dolls, metal balls, pashmina shawls and thangka paintings are very popular amongst tourists.
Cultural Treasures of Nepal. Nepal Tourism Board.2009.