Monasteries at risk of landslide

Pokhara, July 23

Three famed Buddhist shrines in Pokhara are at risk of being swept away by landslide following incessant rainfall for the past few days.

The famous Matepani Gumba (Karma Dubgyud Chhoekhorling Manang Monastery) and World Peace Pagoda, beside the recently built Tamang Gumba (Monastery) are under threat due to recent landslides.

According Monastery Construction Committee Coordinator Jack Tamang, landslide near the Tamang Monastery in Khahare area of Lake Side in Pokhara-Lekhnath Metropolis on July 1 had swept away the lavatory. “Besides, the natural disaster also engulfed a wall built at a cost of Rs 7 million, which was due to be inaugurated in the near future,” he said, seeking a long-term solution to the landslide menace.

Similarly, another major tourism and religious site Matepani Monastery too has come under threat following a landslide below the monastery. The landslide was triggered by the upgradation of Chapapani-Kahun road in Ward No 12 of Pokhara-Lekhnath Metropolis.

Ward Chairperson Ram Bahadur Karki, on his part, drew the government’s attention to the need to conserve such religious heritages. The landslide had also swept away the stairs leading up to the monastery.

Likewise, landslide threat has been telltale for the World Peace Pagoda recently. Its front yard was swept away by a landslide on August 24, three years ago. Lately, a committee has been formed under the coordination of Pokhara Tourism Council former chairperson Ganesh Bahadur Bhattarai to pool fund for the conservation of the pagoda, which is estimated to cost somewhere around 10 million rupees. Set up around 19 years ago with foreign aid, the pagoda is 115 feet tall and has a periphery of 340 feet.