Nepal’s heritage sites reopen to public post-quake

Kathmandu, June 15 (IANS) Nepal’s historical monuments and heritage sites, most of them damaged by the devastating April 25 earthquake, reopened to the public on Monday, an official said.

All the heritage and historical sites have reopened, including the famous Basantapur Durbar Square, Nepal’s Department of Archaeology said.

However, Changunarayan temple in Bhaktapur, a world heritage site, will be reopened later as restoration work was yet to be completed, it said.

Tourists and general public were prohibited from entering the heritage sites after the 7.8 magnitude quake damaged structures of the “Seven Protected Monument Zones of Kathmandu Valley World Heritage Property”.

The Nepal government and Unesco teamed up to clear and restore these sites.

Culture and Tourism Minister Kripashur Sherpa reopened the heritage sites at a function in Bhaktapur Durbar Square.

Sherpa said Unesco, concerned municipalities in the valley and the department of archaeology will collaborate to bring the heritage sites to their original form at the earliest.

The Kathmandu Valley is home to seven world heritage sites.

The seven protected monuments zones include the durbar squares of Hanuman Dhoka (Kathmandu), Patan and Bhaktapur, Buddhist stupas of Swoyambhu and Boudhanath and the Hindu temples of Pashupati and Changunarayan.

The popular Basantapur Durbar Square, Bhaktapur Durbar Square and Lalitpur Durbar Square, famous for their centuries-old Malla-era architecture and wooden crafts, were among those reopened on Monday.

Likewise, visitors will be allowed in Pashupatinath Temple, Swayambhunath Stupa and Boudhanath Stupa.

The quake and aftershocks have left over 8,000 people dead and a large number injured.

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