Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Ministry recommends Ranipokhari to be built in Gumbaz style

The Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation asked Department of Archaeology (DoA) to reconstruct Balgopaleshwar Temple in Gumbaz structure, in spite of Granthakut style suggested by the expert panel.
The historic temple – in the middle of Rani Pokhari – has again been mired in controversy after the ministry's recommendation. The ministry has asked the Department of Archaeology to re-consider its decision of rebuilding the historic temple in Gumbaz style though the expert panel – responsible for the reconstruction of the temple – has recommended the structure be rebuilt in Granthakut style. 
The Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC) and the National Reconstruction Authority (NRA) had held two separate meetings with the expert panel and had almost finalised to rebuild the temple in Granthakut style. "But the ministry has asked the Department to submit a report reviewing its decision on rebuilding the historic temple in Gumbaz style,” joint secretary at the NRA Rajuman Manandhar said, adding that the Department is willing to retain the temple’s Gumbaz-style, which was used when the temple was rebuilt during the Rana regime.
The temple originally was constructed in Granthakut style in the Malla era but was reconstructed in Gumbaz sytle during the Rana regime after it was damaged by an earthquake.
The expert panel – including former deputy director general at the Department of Archaeology Bishnu Raj Karki, conservation architect Sudarshan Raj Tiwari, structural engineer Prem Nath Maskey, urban planner Surya Bhakta Sangachhe – had on Monday suggested the structure be built following a Granthakut style.
The tug of war is going to delay the reconstruction of the historic temple, though the Department has already spent around Rs 2.2 million in the reconstruction of Rani Pokhari. Likewise, Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC) has also spent over Rs 20 million to rebuild the temple in Gumbaz style.
The ministry has also decided to form a Rani Pokhari Reconstruction Coordination and Inspection Committee, which will include officials from the ministry, KMC, Archaeology Department and the expert panel. The National Reconstruction Authority (NRA) will coordinate the committee.

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