HomeNewsKasthamandapa redevelopment hits roadblock 

Kasthamandapa redevelopment hits roadblock 

The redevelopment of Kasthamandapa in Kathmandu, which was almost destroyed in 2015’s devastating earthquake that had killed over 9,000 people,  seems to have hit the roadblock. For the time being redevelopment has been stalled due to reported disagreement between government and other agencies involved in the reconstruction of the temple. Disagreement is mainly over construction materials and methods to be used in its reconstruction. According to the locals, Kasthamandapa temple was built over 1,000 years ago with wood from a single tree. Now the problem is that of finding such a tree and also extracting timber from such tree. It requires the best craftsmen in the country and significant skilled labour.

Lack of historical plans also adding to the problems of the redevelopers. Available photographic evidence is sketchy and is not of much help in reconstruction. In the absence of proper historical records, it’s difficult to assess what has been lost in calamity and what needs to be redeveloped.

Kasthamandap also known as Maru Sattal (literally “Wooden Shelter”), is a heritage structure from which Kathmandu has derived its name. It’s a three-storied public resting shelter that enshrined Gorakshanath, situated in Hanumandhoka Protected monument Zone in the Southwestern corner of Durbar Square which was completely collapsed by the by the 2015 earthquake. Several myths and stories about the date of the construction of the structure of the Kasthamandap have been resolved with the recent archaeological findings. The newly discovered objects during the rescue excavation in the aftermath of the earthquake have suggested that the Kasthamandap may have been built in the 7th century during the Lichhavi era. Before this, it was assumed that the Kasthamandap was built in around the 12th century.

Kasthamandap is being restored by the local community leaded by “Kastamandap Punanirman Committee” with the fund provided by Kathmandu Metropolitan City office. Under the project funded by UNESCO, all the remaining wooden and other materials of the temple are salvaged and documented.

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