Temples partially damaged in quake await renovation

Kathmandu, December 13

Although temples and heritage monuments that were damaged in the 2015 earthquakes in Basantapur Durbar Square are undergoing reconstruction, the government has given least priority to renovation and retrofitting of temples that were partially damaged.

The government has not provided budget for renovation of two-storied structures like Maha Bishnu temple, Mahadev Parvati temple, Koti Lingeshwor Mahadev temple and Nilbarahi temple, among others. If not renovated soon, the temples are likely to suffer further damage.

Locals have demanded that the government also give priority to smaller and less popular heritage structures as even a minor earthquake could bring them down.

These temples look firm from the outside but their foundations may not withstand the force of another earthquake. Similarly, no warning sign has been placed in the vicinity about the emergency measures to be taken if an earthquake occurs.

A lot of people can be found sitting on the remains of Kasthamandap and Jaisi Dewal that were flattened within a few seconds of the 2015 earthquake.

Pujan Ranjit, 32, a resident of Basantapur said, “I wonder why the government has not prioritised the structures that barely survived the massive earthquake. We cannot remain complacent with reconstruction of the temples that were destroyed. Steps must be taken to preserve and protect partially damaged temples as well.”

Executive Director of Hanumandhoka Durbar Museum Aruna Nakarmi said, “We must not take these heritage structures for granted. These temples need to be renovated.”

According to the Department of Archaeology, 753 temples and heritage monuments across the country, including 241 shrines in Kathmandu, 73 in Bhaktapur and 130 in Patan, were damaged in the 2015 earthquakes.

Reconstruction of Kageshwari temple, Shiva temple in front of Singha Dhoka, Taleju Bhawani and Tarani Bahal have almost completed with the help of Kathmandu Valley Preservation Trust and locals.