April 2015 Earthquake: Restoration of Nepal Heritage Sites Begin!

The new Dharahara site is going to be a 294-ft tall construction with two elevators
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April 2015 Earthquake: Restoration of Nepal Heritage Sites Begin!

Continuous efforts by Nepal Government towards the reconstruction of heritage sites damaged in the April 2015 earthquake are taking their implementation form.

As the latest updates show, the National Reconstruction Authority (NRA) seems to be making fast moves towards restoration of the quake-hit structures. While some of them have begun, some are in the process to begin and various others are yet to make their way.

Recent updates pertaining to restoration of quake-hit heritage sites:

Maju Dega Temple

The reconstruction of iconic Maju Dega Temple in Basantapur destroyed in the 2015 earthquake has begun, informed KMC.

maju dega temple-kathmanduKMC Mayor Bidya Sundar Shakya announced the commencement of this project at a program in Kathmandu on October 29, 2018. The project involves an estimated expenditure of NPR 55 million.

Built in 1690 BS, Maju Dega Temple holds a rich history dating back to the period of Riddhi Laxmi, grandmother of the late King Bhupalendra Malla, of the heroic Malla Dynasty.

Dharahara

Finally, the reconstruction of Nepal’s iconic site Dharahara has begun!

The iconic site has been awaiting reconstruction since three years after it suffered a severe damage in a massive earthquake in April 2015. A Nepal-China joint venture bagged the contract of this reconstruction project at an estimated cost of Rs 3.45 billion.

According to Joint-secretary at Heritage Conservation and Government Building Construction Division under National Reconstruction Authority, Raju Man Manandhar, the contractor started the reconstruction work before Dashain.

nepal-heritage-sites-reconstruction-dharahara

“Although no formal foundation stone laying ceremony was held at the site, the reconstruction process began within a week after the joint venture company was awarded the contract for the project,” said Raju.

Supporting the construction process, Kathmandu Metropolitan City had already removed illegal shops built for commercial purposes in the Dharahara area.

For this project spread across an area of 22 ropanis, the National Reconstruction Authority (NRA) is acquiring around 15 ropanis of the General Post Office and additional 3 ropanis of Sundhara and few other plots owned by Guthi Sansthan.

The new Dharahara site is going to be a 294-ft tall construction with two elevators, along with an underground basement in the area meant for vehicle parking.

The original Dharahara was an 18-storey tower built by the first prime minister of Nepal Bhimsen Thapa in 1825. The tower suffered damage in the great earthquake of 1934 and was later rebuilt, before being hit by the 2015 earthquake.

Discussions Underway on Bal Gopaleswor Temple

Meanwhile, NRA has also finalized the rebuilding model for the iconic Bal Gopaleswor temple in the middle of Rani Pokhari.

NRA has reportedly directed architects to come up with new model following the Granthakut design.

The Authority opted for Malla-era design owing to disputes over reconstruction modality among locals, culture experts and government officials.

Bal Gopaleswar Temple
The temple was actually built in Granthakut design in 1670 by the then King Pratap Malla and was later rebuilt in the Gumbaz model by Rana rulers after a damage in 1934 earthquake.

Now, after 2015 earthquake, officials, locals and culture experts started demanding for reconstruction in the original Granthakut style. However, few raised concerns on whether the original temple was built on Granthakut design.

Further NRA has directed heritage conservationists to come up with a design in Granthakut style. “But, we are yet to hold a round-table meeting with culture experts and locals,” said Raju.

Meanwhile, the former Director General of Department of Archaeology Bishnu Raj Karki says there are high possibilities for Granthakut design.

Will have to wait and watch as to know what gets finalized!

October 31, 2018 |

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