Ambassador of India to Nepal Vinay Mohan Kwatra and Chief Executive Officer of National Reconstruction Authority (NRA) of Government of Nepal and Mayor of Kathmandu Metropolitan City jointly carried out the bhoomi pooja (land worship) on Sunday to mark the starting of work of conservation and restoration of Seto Machindranath temple.
Also present in the event were Mani Ram Gelal, Secretary of NRA, Nilkaji Shakya, Chairman of Ward-25, Hari Prabha Khadgi, Deputy Mayor of Kathmandu, Chandra Bahadur Shrestha, Executive Member of NRA, Sh Shyam Kishor Singh, PD, CLPIU (Building) of NRA, Damodar Gawtham, DG of Department of Archeology, Gopal Prasad Aryal, Joint Secretary in NRA, Ram Bahudur Kunwar, Chief Executive of Department of Archeology, Sandeep Khanal, Chief Executive, Hanuman Dhoka Museum, Members of the User Committee of Seto Machindranath Temple and community members.
Officers from Reconstruction and Development Wing of the Embassy of India were also present at the ceremony.
The conservation work of Seto Machindranath temple is first of the 28 cultural heritage conservation and restoration projects being under taken with a reconstruction of NRs 5800 million committed by Government of India for the cultural heritage sector.
All the 28 sites were identified by Government of Nepal and both India and Nepal signed MoU in this regard in August 2017.
The Central Level Project Implementation Unit (Building) of NRA is the implementing entity has been identifying agencies for the restoration works as per be conserved as per Nepal’s Ancient Monument Preservation Act.
The Seto Machindranath Temple will be conserved as per Nepal’s Ancient Monument Preservation Act, and Department of Archaeology’s Basic Guidelines and Manual for conservation and reconstruction of heritage affected by 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.
The decorative art surfaces and features such as repoussé work, decorative and non-decorative woodworks including timber members with traditional polychrome arts will be documented and conserved through minimal interventions.
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 Government of Nepal.
Believed to have been built in 10th Century AD during Malla era, the temple was damaged during the 2015 Gorkha earthquake. The temple located in the heart of Kathmandu city is visited by Hindus and Buddhist devotees to worship Seto Machindranath is considered to be one of the Protectors of the Kathmandu Valley.