February 28 marked the beginning of the restoration work of Seto Macchindranath Temple, one of the 28 heritage sites in Nepal which will be reconstructed with the help of India’s assistance.
Indian Ambassador Vinay Mohan Kwatra along with the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of National Reconstruction Authority (NRA) Sushil Gyawali and Mayor of Kathmandu Metropolitan City Bidya Sundar Shakya jointly carried out ‘bhoomi pooja’ for the restoration of Seto Machindranath temple.
“Indian Embassy in Kathmandu consider ourselves greatly privileged to be associated with the conservation and restoration of this heritage site,” said Indian Envoy to Nepal, Vinay Mohan Kwatra.
“Indian Government and Nepal Government have agreed to work for conservation, restoration and retrofitting of 28 cultural sites in 8 districts of Nepal which was impacted by 2015 earthquake. I am very happy to say that out of 28 cultural heritage sites that we are working to restore, Seto Macchindranath Temple is the first project to start,” he added.
The conservation work of Seto Machindranath temple is the first of the 28 cultural heritage conservation and restoration projects being undertaken with a reconstruction of Nepali Rs 5,800 million committed by the Indian Government for the cultural heritage sector.
All the 28 sites were identified by Nepal Government and both India and Nepal signed Memorandums of Understandings (MoUs) in August 2017.
The Seto Machindranath Temple will be conserved as per Nepal’s Ancient Monument Preservation Act, and the Department of Archaeology’s Basic Guidelines and Manual for conservation and reconstruction of heritage affected by the 2015 earthquake using material close to the original building material at the time of its construction as per the traditional ethos, local traditions, and values that sustains and enriches such living heritage sites in Nepal.
Hariprabha Khadgi, Deputy Mayor of Kathmandu Metropolitan city said: “Nepal and India are identical in many ways, from marriage to language, culture and mode of living. For having these things in common, they (India) have been extending cooperation in various fields. In continuation to doing so, they have extended help in restoration work the temple of Seto Macchindranath, I would heartedly welcome them on behalf of Kathmandu Metropolitan City. Art, Culture, and Heritages are our identity and these are things that make us identifiable”.
Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) has been engaged to provide technical support during the conservation and restoration work as per the Detailed Project Report approved by the Government of Nepal.