Swiss contribution to reconstruct heritage monuments in Dolakha

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Local news, 25.01.2017

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed today between the Government of Nepal represented by Department of Archeology and the Government of Switzerland represented by the Embassy of Switzerland in Nepal. Through this MoU, Switzerland will rehabilitate/reconstruct the two monuments (Tripurasunadri and Taleju Temple) and a heritage cobble stone foot trail connecting the heritage monuments in Dolakha equivalent to CHF 700’000.00 (NRs. 75’000’000.00). The construction works will follow strict archeological norms and standards and is expected to be complete by December 2018.

The earthquake of April 25th 2015 and subsequent aftershocks turned nearly 700,000 houses into rubbles leaving approximately 3 million people homeless and affecting almost one third of Nepal’s population. The disaster left almost 9,000 people dead and over 20,000 people were injured (the National Emergency Operations Centre-NEOC, Situation Report # 15, 2015). Since the epicentre of the major aftershock on 12th May 2015 was in Dolakha, the damages to houses and casualties in the district were very high. The buildings of historical and archaeological significance in Dolakha were also severely damaged.

The history of settlements and civilization of Dolakha is reported (UNESCO, mission report Aug 2015) to date back to 6500 BC - 1500 BC with the discovery of Neolithic tools in Charikot and surrounding area. From the stone scripts found in the area, Dolakha is considered to be occupied by Licchavis and Kirats before the 13th century when Newars occupied the place. The Newars in the late 16th century seemed to have greater influence in Dolakha with the development of certain type of settlements and architectural characteristics around them. The settlements are composed of different neighbourhoods, which are connected by streets and alleys and organized into a paved plaza (chowk) containing a Stupa and a Hindu temple, symbolizing the unity between Buddhism and Hinduism.

The Embassy of Switzerland in Nepal

25 January 2017