Ancient ponds and stone spouts are dying out in GorkhaThere have been no efforts to preserve the spout even after the locals’ repeated requests with the Department of Archaeology to maintain the historic spigot.
The iconic stone spout in Mahadevtar, Gorkha, might just be a work of art. The spout, featuring intricately detailed bricks and stones, was constructed in 1873 BS and looks architecturally sound for the day and age. But as it stands today, the monument is half-deformed, ill-maintained, and on the verge of collapse.
The spout was a source of water for the family of Bhimsen Thapa, the country’s first prime minister, and it was built by his mother, Satyarupa, said Rishi Bhatta, a local of Mahadevtar.
“The spout seems to have been thoughtfully constructed, bringing water from a river that lies a kilometre away,” Bhatta said. “It was only last year that we located the course of the canal.”
The spout was in use until at least 2025 BS, according to Pavan Thapa, another local. “But these days, the spout runs empty and lies waiting for better upkeep,” he said. “The spout carries a long history.”
But there have been no efforts to preserve the spout even after the locals’ repeated requests to the Department of Archaeology to maintain the historic spigot.
“The spout could play to the village’s reputation and can be a subject of research for historians,” Thapa said, adding there are several other monuments in his locality that need conservation.
A pond in Archale, near Mahadevtar, for instance, is covered in algae and is fast drying up. So is the Dhadyan Spout in Siranchok and the pond in Chipleti. The pond in Archale was the only source of water for about 150 families until 2045BS, until the villages got access to water taps.
“After the villagers got drinking water in their own backyards, the pond has been left neglected,” said Bhatta.
Today, most of Gorkha has easy access to drinking water. And so the traditional sources of water are being neglected, as people began to seek modern facilities and ignore their heritage, Thapa said. The widespread construction of roads is also contributing to the extinction of water resources, Thapa added.
In Gorkha Bazaar, the district headquarters, there are two notable stone spouts—Teendhare and Chardhare—that still draw people seeking to fill their pots.
“People say these spouts were used by the royal family as well, so they have a rich history,” said Bishnu Aryal, a local of Gorkha Bazaar. “But today, they lack proper upkeep and the water flows only during the rainy season. These spouts are not just sources of water but our heritage and culture. They must be preserved for the future generation to see.”