Kathmandu, January 23
After more than three-and-a-half years of the 2015 earthquakes, Lalitpur Metropolitan City has finally taken the initiative to reconstruct the iconic three-storied Hanuman temple, which was damaged in the quakes, in Patan Durbar Square.
Unlike many other temples, the National Reconstruction Authority has allowed the Bhimsen Temple Reconstruction Concern Committee to reconstruct the temple. Other temples in the area were reconstructed by contractors.
Lalitpur Metropolitan City Mayor Chiribabu Maharjan, priests of the temple, members of the concern committee and government officials had performed Chhayma Puja before beginning the reconstruction work.
Following the puja, the concern committee removed tiles from the roof of the temple.
Reconstruction of the temple had been halted after locals sought involvement in the reconstruction work. Lalitpur Metropolitan City and Lalitpur Chamber of Commerce had then formed the concern committee to ensure participation of the locals in the reconstruction task.
Speaking at the inauguration of reconstruction work yesterday, Mayor Maharjan said, “The temple will be built with full participation of the locals.”
Maharjan also promised to provide all kinds of support for the temple’’s reconstruction.
Similarly, Coordinator of the committee Krishna Lal Maharjan said, “Since the locals are themselves involved, we want to assure all the concerned bodies that the reconstruction work would be carried out in a transparent way.”
Kathmandu Valley Preservation Trust has estimated the cost of reconstructing the temple at Rs 9.1 million.
The amount, however, does not cover money to be used for gold-plating the pinnacle of the temple. Lalitpur Chamber of Commerce has pledged to provide one million rupees for the construction of the temple. The 18th century Bhimsen temple was first built by Shri Niwas Malla.
A version of this article appears in print on January 24, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.