This is the first of the 28 cultural heritage conservation and restoration projects under an Indian reconstruction grant of NRs 5800 million

Forging closer ties by cooperating in the conservation of heritage, India and Nepal have begun restoration of a temple in Kathmandu under India’s grant assistance. A ceremony was held on Sunday to mark the start of conservation work of the 10th century temple.

Ambassador of India to Nepal Vinay Mohan Kwatra, Chief Executive Officer of National Reconstruction Authority of Government of Nepal Sushil Gyawali, and Mayor of Kathmandu Metropolitan City Bidhya Sundar Shakya jointly carried out bhoomi pooja to mark the start of work of conservation and restoration of Seto Machindranath temple, a release of the Indian Embassy in Kathmandu informed.

The conservation work of Seto Machindranath temple is the first of the 28 cultural heritage conservation and restoration projects being under taken with a reconstruction grant of NRs 5,800 million committed by Government of India for the cultural heritage sector, the release added.

All the 28 sites were identified by Government of Nepal and both India and Nepal signed a 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 Nepal’s Ancient Monument Preservation Act.

According to the release, believed to have been built in 10th Century AD during Malla era, the temple is located in the heart of Kathmandu city. It is visited by Hindus and Buddhist devotees to worship Seto Machindranath who is considered to be one of the Protectors of the Kathmandu Valley, the release elaborated.

Informing that the Seto Machindranath temple was affected by the 2015 earthquake, the Indian Embassy’s release said that the temple is being reconstructed using material close to the original building material at the time of its construction as per the traditional ethos, local traditions and values that sustain and enrich such living heritage sites in Nepal.

It added that 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, the Indian official release noted.