Locals urge authorities to relocate Sohrakhutte paati

- Anup Ojha, Kathmandu
Locals urge authorities to relocate Sohrakhutte paati

Jan 13, 2015-

Locals have demanded the government protect and relocate the 207-year-old Sohrakhutte paati (a traditional resting place for travellers), which is to be demolished as a part of road widening campaign.

The building, a 16-wooden-pillar structure, has an archaeological importance. The road expansion drive has destroyed its roof. “Had we not intervened on time, the heritage would have been destroyed forever,” said Krishna Kumar Dhakal, a local resident.

The Prime Minister’s Office last week directed the road authorities to re-locate the Paati in coordination with the Department of Archaeology. However, the authorities concerned have not taken initiation towards this end.

“This issue is on the agenda but we do not know where to relocate it,” said Ram Bahadur Kunwar, spokesperson at the Department of Archaeology (DoA).

According to the existing laws, the DoA is responsible for preserving the cultural heritage and the archaeological objects that are over 100 years old.

When Kathmandu was not linked to the outer world with road network, Sohrakhutte was the main junction that would lead to Nuwakot, Dhading, Gorkha, Manang, Gulmi and other major places in the western part of the country.

“Both government and the DoA has shown indifference towards preserving this historical structure, and even the Department of Roads is not being responsible for preserving these precious heritage,” Dhakal said.  

Legend has it that Bhotu Pande, subordinate commander (kapardar) during King Rana Bahadur Shah’s time, fell unconscious during a war at Kerung in Tibet in late-1780s and was carried back to Sohrakhutte. Once he regained consciousness, Pande, grateful for a new life, constructed the paati and donated 20 ropanis of land for philanthropic purposes.

Today, Sorakhutte Traffic Police Station, a free clinic, ward office, Lekhanath Sahitya Sadan have been established on the donated land, while a four-storey elderly home has recently been built on the southern part of the paati.

Locals want to relocate the paati to a nearby land, in front of the elderly home, but the DoA has not reached a decision on the matter.

Published: 14-01-2015 09:09

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