Excavations at Jagannath, Gopinath temples begin

KATHMANDU: The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) has undertaken excavations at the Jagannath and Gopinath temples in the World Heritage Site of Kathmandu Durbar Square.

The temples were damaged by the 2015 Gorkha Earthquake.

UNESCO, together with a team of international and national experts from the Department of Archaeology under the Government of Nepal and Durham University, UK, has undertaken the excavations at the temples, states a press release issued by the UN agency.

“The continued archaeological investigation of subsurface heritage and evaluation of the foundations of earthquake-damaged monuments are a key part of the process of the rehabilitation of the Kathmandu Valley’s World Heritage of Outstanding Universal Value in advance of its reconstruction." said Christian Manhart, UNESCO Representative to Nepal, in the statement.

“UNESCO-sponsored pilot excavations in 2015 illustrated the potential of multi-disciplinary investigations prior to reconstruction of monuments in the Kathmandu Valley,'' stated Kosh Prasad Acharya, project codirector and former Director General of the Department of Archaeology.

Building on that earlier research, those excavations would provide evidence of the origins and development of these monuments and lead to new information that would safeguard those monuments for future generations, Acharya further added.

The project which would bring international and national architects, engineers and geo-archaeologists together would lead to the successful renovation and rehabilitation of these cultural gems of outstanding universal value within the Kathmandu Valley World Heritage Property, states the press release.