'Heritage Ride' to rebuild KasthamandapThe iconic temple of Kasthamandap – from which Kathmandu derives its name—is one of the UNESCO world heritage monuments destroyed by the devastating earthquake on April 25.
As Nepali authorities struggle to rebuild destroyed houses and monuments in and around Kathmandu, a unique mountain-bike tour is being organised coming weekend (July 4th, Saturday) with a view to uplift the collective Nepali mood as well as raise funds to rebuild Kasthamandap.
The unique event dubbed as ‘Heritage Ride – To Restore and Rebuild’ is being organised by a Nepali non-profit organisation called Tour de Lumbini and will see mountain-bikers riding through the UNESCO world heritage monuments zones that are scattered around Kathmandu valley.
The unique ride will see bikers gather at Kathmandu Durbar Square at 6 a.m. on Saturday and pedal to the valley’s iconic monument areas – including Swayambhu, Pashupati, Bouddha, Sankhu, Bhaktapur and Patan.
After the fund-raising ride, bikers and spectators will gather in Basantapur Durbar Square in the evening for traditional concert and lighting ceremony, according to the organisers.
“We want to send a positive message around the world that Nepalis are united to rebuild, and that our country is safe now for tours and adventure tourism,” said Megh Ale, an organier. “Through this event we call Heritage Ride, we want to raise funds to rebuild Kasthamandap – the iconic symbol of ancient Kantipur which is now known as Kathmandu.”
Legends have it that the three-storied Kasthamandap was constructed around 12th century from the wood of a single Sal tree, and that it served as a major community centre – a hub from people from far and wide to rest and trade for centuries. Adding yet another feather in its hat, the 16-pillared shelter was later dedicated to Gorakhnath, the 13th century ascetic who was linked to the Shah kings of ancient Kingdom of Gorkha.
For centuries Kasthamandap, providing space for a myriad of festivals, occupied the centre-stage of the city’s cultural, economic and civilizational heritage of the Himalayan nation. But the unique pagoda-shaped monument – that endured several quakes of the past –was destroyed by the Great Earthquake of April 25, alongside some majestic monuments of Kathmandu such as Dharahara.