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Norwegian Embassy to contribute rebuilding Bhaidegh Temple in Patan

By Our Reporter
Prithivi Bahadur Pande’, chairman, Cultural Heritage Conservation Group (CHCG) and Lasse Bjørn, Norwegian Ambassador signed an agreement for construction of Bhaidegah Temple in Patan amidst a function organised at the Embassy premises last week. The Embassy has provided financial support worth above 122 million rupees. At the same occasion, Lalitpur Metropolitan City mayor Chiribabu Maharjan announced financial contribution of Rs. 5 million rupees.
Ambassador Bjorn, speaking at the function, expresed his pleasure for the opportunity provided by CHCG in contributing reconstruction of historical temple in Patan.
Pande’, Chairman, CHCG explained about formation of CHCG specially aimed at reconstruction of temples which are cultural heritage of the nation.
Patan Darbar Square and Palace are two of the major historic spots within Kathmandu Valley’s World Heritage Sites. The Bhaidegah Temple, originally a three-tieredtemple built in 1687 was destroyed during the 1934 earthquake, and was never rebuilt in its original configuration and left as a moghul style dome shaped structure.
CHCG, which was formed officially in 2011 by a group of citizens united by a shared interest in the conservation of Patan’s urban heritage, came forward to rebuild the temple and started raising funds for this important project. Under Kathmandu Valley Preservation Trust’s technical guidance and supervision, the rebuilding work started in 2012 with financial support of Rs. 10 million from Nepal Investment Bank Ltd. Later, the Royal Norwegian Embassy and Lalitpur Metropolitan City Office also extended their support in this nobel endeavour by providing Rs. 12,202,994.00 and Rs. 5,000,000 respectively to cover a portion of an initial cost estimate of Rs. 40 million.
The temple is under a rebuilding process held up to the highest possible standards, ensuring that it is a valuable addition to Patan Darbar Square and a justified replacement to the stucco dome structure. Due to rapid price escalation of timber and other materials and the reinforcement work of the foundation, which was unforseeable, the revised estimated cost now is Rs.62,464,802 with a shortfall of Rs. 32,711,308.
Out of the total shortfall of fund to complete the rebuilding works of the temple, CHCG has planned to raise Rs. 20,000,000 from local resources (donation from the community and business houses), and the Royal Norwegian Embassy has committed to provide Rs. 14807680. Nepal Investment Bank has pledged to provide further funds of 50 lakhs if Rs. 130000.00 is given by the local community.
The rebuilt Bhaidegah Temple will have great positive impact for the futurewithin the local culture of Patan Darbar Square. The day-to-day maintenance of the temple will be taken care of by the local stakeholders, the Metropolitan City Ward Office, the Department of Archaeology, the Patan Darbar Monument Maintenance Office, and the Guthi Samsthan once the temple is restored to its historic configuration.

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