Reconstruction of Kasthamandap temple begins

  • Kasthamandap Reconstruction Committee is rebuilding the historic temple in coordination with KMC

Kathmandu, May 14

Reconstruction of Kasthamandap temple finally began today three years after the devastating earthquakes of 2015.

Minister for Culture Tourism and Civil Aviation Rabindra Adhikari inaugurated the reconstruction work amidst a ceremony at the temple site in Basantapur.

Kshyama Puja (prayer for forgiveness) was conducted at the site to mark formal beginning of construction work.

Kathmandu Metropolitan City Mayor Bidhya Sundar Shakya, Chief Executive Officer of National Reconstruction Authority Yubaraj Bhusal and Cultural Expert Satya Mohan Joshi, along with Provincial Assembly members, local leaders and locals, participated  in the event.

Speaking at the event, Minister Adhikari said reconstruction of the historic temple would be completed within three years. He also said reconstruction of other important monuments like Dharahara and Ranipokhari would also be completed within a few years.

The minister had, earlier, declared that he would start reconstruction of Kasthamandap by April 15.

Reconstruction of the temple is being carried out in coordination with KMC. It was KMC Mayor Shakya who took the initiative to form Kasthamandap Reconstruction Committee.

The committee is chaired by Provincial Assembly member from the area Rajesh Shakya and chairs of wards 19, 20, 23 and 24, along with cultural experts and a few locals as members.

However, most of the members of Kasthamandap Reconstruction Campaign are not included in the new committee. They had halted reconstruction of the temple in the year 2016 protesting the use of modern materials for construction of the temple.

Members of the campaign had organised various programmes to make the authorities comply with heritage laws while reconstructing ancient temples and monuments. They had also demanded locals’ participation in reconstruction work.

“We have included experts and locals in the committee and we will warmly welcome all kinds of suggestions from people and concerned organisations. People, who wish to suggest ideas and provide historical information can give written or oral information to the committee’s office at Singha Satal near the reconstruction site,” said Chairman of the committee Rajesh Shakya.

He also said they would accept financial support from all Nepali nationals residing all over the world but would not accept foreign aid for the reconstruction work.

Earlier, KMC had estimated that Rs 190 million would be needed to reconstruct the temple as per the architectural map designed by the Department of Archaeology.

According to the director at KMC Namaraj Adhikari, the authorities are working to build the temple with the estimated amount. Reconstruction of the temple was halted in the year 2016 after DoA started rebuilding the temple using steel and concrete.

KMC then took charge of rebuilding the temple and decided to rebuild it on the basis of public-private partnership model. But, the locals did not agree with KMC’s decision.