Balgopaleshwor temple reconstruction in limbo

Kathmandu, September 25

People wanting to receive tika at the Balgopaleshwor Temple on Tihar will not be able to do so this year.

Though Bhaitika is just about a month away, work on rebuilding the temple has yet to take off due to conflict between the Kathmandu Metropolitan City and the Department of Archeology.

Bhaitika falls on November 1 this year. According to KMC, reconstruction work remains halted after it withdrew from the project.

KMC Spokesperson Gyanendra Karki said people would not be able to receive tika at the temple this year as reconstruction of the temple had been delayed. “There is no possibility of the reconstruction work to be completed before Tihar. So, we are planning to consult priests to see if we can make arrangements for people to receive tika outside the temple,” Karki told The Himalayan Times.

Reconstruction of the Balgopaleshwor temple, which lies at the centre of Ranipokhari, was halted upon instructions from the Department of Archaeology, citing that the work did not meet standards agreed upon on August 29.

The department had earlier directed the KMC to construct the temple without using concrete but the latter had not heeded this. Two weeks ago, the conflict had reached a peak and the project came to a standstill after the KMC decided to withdraw from the project.

KMC said it was dissatisfied with the department right from the beginning, while UNESCO had expressed concern on the ‘inappropriate approach’ to reconstruction.

KMC said the temple was originally constructed using concrete and hence it used concrete to ensure a higher level of safety.

“We were trying to complete reconstruction of the temple before Bhaitika but we failed due to unnecessary interference by UNESCO and the department,” said a KMC official.

Meanwhile, the DoA said it was ready to reconstruct the temple if KMC allowed it to carry out the work in writing. “If KMC is not ready to follow the guidelines issued by the department, we are ready to rebuild the temple ourselves but the KMC should say it in writing,” said Bhesh Narayan Dahal, director general at the department.