Ganairagauda Durbar in ruins for lack of conservation effortsValuable arts, artefacts and statues that adorned the palace have all been stolen.
Ganairagauda Durbar, a historic palace of archaeological significance in Doti district, lies in a dilapidated state, in need of immediate repair.
The palace at Bhairav Mandirdanda in Dipayal, the district headquarters, is on the verge of complete collapse. Wild vegetation has crept its way into the palace grounds, or what is left of it, with half standing wall pillars jutting out.
Built during the reign of King Bhupati Shah, all administrative works of the state were conducted from this palace. It was only after the then King Deepshahi was defeated by the Gorkhali Army led by Amar Singh Thapa in 1847 BS that the large and powerful state of Doti became a part of unified Nepal.
Prem Bahadur Shah, a native in Dipayal, also a descendant of King Bhupati, said that his family has frequently requested the Department of Archaeology (DoA) to conserve the palace. “Only the foundation and walls are left of what used to be a grand palace. In the absence of conservation, the palace is a ghost of its former glory and beauty,” said Shah.
Narendra Khadka, former chairman of Doti Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said that although what’s left to marvel over are just the original foundation stones and the walls, visitors abreast with the history of the palace still come in droves. “Visitors come here to see the palace and to pay respect to see the then King. This palace can still be restored to a certain extent if conservation efforts are made right away,” said Khadka.
“The historic palace is in ruins due to the apathy of the concerned authorities,” said Parbati Chand, a local Nepali Congress leader, adding that the historic arts and artefacts have gone missing over time.
One of the visitors at the palace, Saroj Katuwal of Makwanpur, believes that the remains of the palace are worth conserving for the history they carry. “The concerned authorities must pay immediate attention to conserve the palace. This is a part of our history and should be preserved for our future generations to marvel at,” said Katuwal.
The palace was built by using a paste of mass (a variety of pulses), shurki (lime), pina (mustard seed residue) among other traditional forms of binding pastes used in construction in the olden days. According to locals, the many valuable arts, artefacts and statues that adorned the palace have all been stolen.
Manju Malasi, mayor of the Dipayal Silagadhi Municipality, said that the municipal office is planning to take initiatives to repair the palace. “We are planning to build a museum in the durbar area highlighting the identity of the Doteli kings.”
In the past, the Department of Archeology had also surveyed the remains of the palace but the local community were not informed about the details of the study.