Capital

Changu library serving as warehouse to store temple ruins

- Anup Ojha, BHAKTAPUR

Jan 14, 2018-The library on the north-east of Changunarayan Temple in Bhaktapur now serves as a warehouse to store structural parts of the temples that were reduced to ruins by the April 2015 earthquake. 

The 7.9 magnitude earthquake reduced to rubble two of the four temples including the four corners of the main structure. 

Authorities completed reconstruction work of the main temple recently. However, the quake damaged library, set up in 1997 at the initiative of the temple’s chief priest Chakra Upadhyay and locals, does not function now. 

Speaking to the Post, Upadyahay said, “The Department of Archaeology spent Rs8.5 million to reconstruct the main temple. Millions will be spent for reconstructing the remaining temples, but no one has shown interest in brining the library to its original shape.” 

The library’s catalogue has over 1,500 books. It features historical books related to Changunarayan, Hindu religion, law, social science, fiction and non-fiction. 

“Now all books rot as water leaks from the roof. We informed the authorities about this issue, but nobody cares,” he said. 

The original place of the library now stores materials discarded from the reconstruction work of the temple. The whole area looks untidy and dirty. The library that would see dozens of visitors before the quake looks pathetic. This is visible from outside as grills fence it now. 

Kathmandu District Court retired employee Ani Ram Khatiwada, 64, says the pathetic state of the library disheartens him. 

“I often visited this library to read and even donated some books to the library. We do not have any place to shift this library. After the earthquake, even the priest does not have a place to live,” said Khatiwada. 

Library pioneer Upadhyay lived on the temple premises for over four decades. That place is in ruins. Now he lives four kilometres away from the temple. 

“I cannot take care of this library because I do not have the resources. I can only manage my time to come here for morning worship and evening arti (a ritual worship where light from wicks soaked in purified butter is offered to one or more deities),” said the priest.

Published: 14-01-2018 08:06

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