The repair and renovation works at the Manakamana Temple in Gorkha , which was suffered partial damage in the Great Earthquake on April 25, has resumed.
The workers carried out renovation of the temple of the wish fulfilling Hindu goddess Bhagwati, which had tilted 9-12 inches towards the north-east during the quake, after the pinnacle of the temple, was removed as per Hindu rituals on Monday morning.
The temple, well known to Hindu pilgrims and tourists, had also sustained partial damage during the devastating earthquake of 1934.
The Manakamana Temple Renovation Committee (MTRC) had jump started the repair and renovation works at the temple from May 4 this year. However, following the second major trembler that shook the country on May 12, the repair works had been halted.
Coordinator of MTRC, Narendra Shrestha, said they hope to complete the renovation work at the temple within the next two years.
“We have estimated that a budget of Rs 110 million will be required to complete the repair and renovation work of the temple,” said Shrestha, adding that government has provided Rs 40 million while the remaining amount will be collected from locals, businessman and devotees.
Meanwhile, artisans and craftsmen from Bhaktapur have arrived at Manakamana to renovate the temple, which, according to Coordinator Shrestha, will be earthquake proof after the renovation.
Head craftsman, Krishna Govinda Awal, said artisans and craftsmen will renovate the temple in its original style.
“However, we will be using bricks, limestone and some of the new construction materials available now to make the temple earthquake resistant,” informed Awal.
Meanwhile, Manakamana’s main priest Insan Thapa said that if everything goes well, they will perform regular pooja (worship) at the temple in few days time.
“If security for both priests and devotees is ensured, we will resume pooja very soon” Thapa said.
Similarly, Chief District Officer of Gorkha , Uddhav Timalsina, also assured that regular pooja at the temple will be resumed “very soon”.
As the temple remains closed after being partially damaged by the quake, the bazaar area wears a deserted look with businesses, shops and restaurants shut. Although some houses, buildings and hotels near the temple had been razed to the ground by the quake, the Manakamana temple area and the surrounding market place did not sustain the kind of damages other places in the district had suffered in the earthquake and its powerful aftershocks.
The temple is situated at an altitude of 1,314 meters above sea level.