In the earthquake of April 25, 2015 a beautiful structure that is iconic historically and culturally was damaged — Rani Pokhari, which literally translated means 'Queen's Pond', that nestles in the heart of the Capital, Ratnapark. Balgopaleshwor Temple (also known as Yamaleshwor or Jamaleshwor Mahadev), that stands in the middle of the pond, was also damaged.

Rani Pokhari, built in 792 NS or 1727 BS by king Pratap Malla, is square in shape (22 feet-4 inches) with four layers of steps around it and a fence on one side. The Balgopaleshwor Temple in the gumbaz style with the idols of Bal Gopal and Mahisasur Mardini along with a Shiva Linga stands in the middle of the pond. A bridge on the west of the pond helps devotees reach the temple.

The gates of Rani Pokhari are opened to the public twice a year — on Bhai Tika of Tihar and Chhath puja. But the gates remained closed on both days in 2015.

Approved by the Department of Archaeology (DoA), the Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC) office has been working to renovate the structures here.

Rebuilding it

Rani Pokhari is full of fish because the followers of Tibetan Buddhism, with the concept of jivan daan (releasing soul) named chhetar, release fish in the pond. However, the pond has just catfish perhaps because of the muddy water in the pond.

And the inscription about Rani Pokhari says that the water of the pond has been brought from various religious places of Nepal and India such as Muktinath, Kedarnath, Ganga, Sapantirtha, Budhanilkanth and more.