At Bhaktapur Durbar Square today

The heritage site reminds all of the quake and the devastation that followed, yet it has started once again to attract visitors


Nearly two years after the Gorkha earthquake of 2015, the Bhaktapur Durbar Square still bears the reminders of the devastating quakes — buildings with archaeological importance supported by poles, damaged statues and temples, workers clearing the debris of demolished structures, and people walking around with measuring tapes to get an accurate measurement of the buildings that need to be demolished.

At the same time this area shows signs that reconstruction of structures damaged by the quake is underway — entering its premises, one can see workers mixing limestone with water, some busy cleaning ‘reusable’ materials from debris like bricks, and others constructing walls of temples. And the children of the workers are seen enjoying the view of the reconstruction site “where visitors are always busy taking photographs”.

This is a regular sight at Bhaktapur Durbar Square nowadays — the quake aftereffects remain, but reconstruction work is going on in full swing as per the authorities concerned, and the number of visitors visiting this area is increasing, creating a brighter hope for everyone!

Careful treatment of historic properties

The area is home to number or temples and other monuments of historic and religious significance. And the damaged ones include the temples — Harihar Narayan, Shankar Narayan, Batshala Durga, Tri Bikram Narayan, Kedarnath, Siddha Laxmi, Silu Mahadev — along with a sattal, and a palace near the Bhandarkhal pond.

Along with that some smaller temples in the area are also safe.  But is it safe for tourists to visit the area with construction works going on?

“The place is safe — the areas being reconstructed are fenced,” Didiya assured.