Restoration of quake-damaged Gorkha Durbar temples and monuments nearing completionBoth the Gorkha Durbar and the temple were built by King Ram Shah around 400 years ago.
Restoration of the Gorkha Durbar area, home to several archaeologically and historically important monuments that suffered varying degrees of damage in the 2015 earthquakes, is in the final stages. The reconstruction work at the Gorkha Durbar was recently completed and the nearby Gorkha Kalika Temple is currently being retrofitted.
Both the Gorkha Durbar and the temple were built by King Ram Shah around 400 years ago.
Around 85 percent of the retrofitting work of the temple has been completed, according to officials.
The repair work at the temple, which sits atop a narrow hill beside the Gorkha Durbar, began in 2021, six years after the devastating earthquake.
“The retrofitting works of the damaged sections of the temple are being carried out now,” said Hari Bhusal, the chief at the Gorkha Durbar Herchaha Adda, the caretaker office that oversees the maintenance of the monuments. “The foundation, walls and roofs have been repaired. Around 85 percent of the work on the temple has been completed so far.”
The April 25 earthquake and its powerful aftershocks badly damaged the temple. Gorkha Kalika is the clan deity of the Shah kings who ruled Nepal until 2008. The eastern and southern walls of the temple developed cracks while the tiled roof also incurred severe damage. The authorities had a tough time protecting the shrine as water leaked in the rainy season.
A team of technicians had recommended retrofitting the temple.
According to Bhusal, the retrofitting work of the historical temple was awarded to the PPRF, a joint venture of companies for Rs19.5 million. The joint venture began the work in April last year.
“Gorkha Kalika Temple has its own traditions,” Bhusal said. “No one is allowed inside the sanctum sanctorum, where the principal deity has been kept. The chamber known as vayukotha should not be opened. The retrofitting work is being carried out by respecting the temple rules and traditions.”
The regular worship and other rites are being carried out from the Rajkanya chamber on the ground floor of the recently restored Gorkha Durbar.
“We have been performing the daily worship from the Gorkha Durbar,” said Sharada Prasad Bhattarai, the main priest of the temple.
“Once the work on the temple is completed, we will perform Kshmapuja [atonement ritual for violations of sacred space] and resume worship from the temple itself,” Bhattarai said.
According to Bhusal, King Ram Shah, well known for his judicial reforms, built the Gorkha Durbar and the Kalika Temple circa 1610.
Works on Gorkha Durbar, Pandit Pati, Shree Bidhya Temple, Upallo Kot, Tallo Kot, Rot Pati, Gorakhnath Temple, and Chaughera Durbar among others have already been completed.
“The retrofitting works of Gorkha Kalika Temple and Rangamahal are in the final stages,” said Bhusal. “We believe the retrofitting works will be completed by June.”