Excavation works under way in Rani PokhariThe Department of Archaeology (DoA) started archaeological excavation of historic Rani Pokhari on Tuesday.
The Department of Archaeology (DoA) started archaeological excavation of historic Rani Pokhari on Tuesday.
A team of archaeological engineers, headed by former director of the DoA Bishnu Raj Karki, kicked off the three-day excavation works simultaneously on the southern and western sections of the historic pond.
Following widespread criticism of its decision to allow the use of modern construction materials to rebuild earthquake-damaged pond, the Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC) had decided to halt the rebuilding works last week and agreed to an 11-member expert committee for restoring the Malla-era monuments to its original form.
A meeting of the expert committee had requested the DoA on Monday to conduct excavation to search for historical artefacts of the pond which would help in their efforts to rebuild the structure to its original state. The committee has 15 days to submit the report.
During excavation in the western part of the pond on Tuesday, the engineers figured out its “original” water level. Upon digging 110 centimetres down the current surface, they have discovered six layers of sand and black clay.
The archaeologists, however, have not found anything substantial on the southern side of the pond except for some bricks that date to Chandra Shumsher and Bir Shumsher Jung Bahadur Rana eras.
“This is a pilot excavation,” said Karki. “This general archaeological synopsis will help us understand the original structure of the pond’s bed.” The team will be carrying out excavation works in three other places in the pond.
Archaeologists and historians believe that the pond—built in 1970BS by King Pratap Malla in memory of his son—is dotted with a number of man-made wells. The rebuilding project has already fallen behind schedule due to a string of recent controversies.