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Reconstruction of Balgopaleshwar temple in Shikhar style begins

Kathmandu, Aug 18: The reconstruction of Balgopaleshwar Temple in the middle of Ranipokhari, the historic pond at the center of the capital, has begun in Shikhar style.

The contractor, CA-Tulsi Construction JV, which signed a construction contract with the National Reconstruction Authority (NRA) on August 9, has begun the reconstruction.

The concrete tie-beam tied around the temple with concrete and rebar earlier has now been removed, in the course of temple reconstruction. Reconstruction of the corridor surrounding the temple has begun using Chuna Surki (traditional mortar of limestone and brick powder) after removing concrete and the rebar. Surki (fine aggregate of brick powder) is being prepared near the northern gate of Ranipokhari, and Chuna (limestone) is soaked near the temple. Chuna and Surki will be mixed and walls will be constructed with the mixture.

Site engineer of CA-Tulsi Construction JV Sanam Shrestha informed that 30 to 35 workers are currently working on a daily basis. According to him, the main temple will be reconstructed after a traditional Kshyama Puja (prayers for forgiveness to any untoward incidents). According to Shrestha, the main temple and the bridge leading to the temple will be constructed in parallel to complete the work quicker.

NRA Joint Secretary and head of Heritage Preservation, Public Buildings and Infrastructure Division Shiva Hari Sharma, who is leading the monitoring works of Ranipokhari reconstruction, said the work progress so far is satisfactory.

The construction company will reconstruct Balgopaleshwar temple, bridge to the temple and the garden around the pond, while a users’ committee has got the responsibility of reconstructing the plinth of the pond and the wall around it. The users’ committee has already constructed the wall on the western side of the pond and it is in the process of constructing one-third portion of the wall in the southern and northern side. Traditional material and technology is being used in the wall construction as well.

Likewise, skilled artisans from Bhaktapur are working to lay black clay on the plinth.

The NRA has directed the users’ committee to increase the number of artisans to expedite the work.

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