Rs 3.4m allocated for Sorhakhutte Pati

- Anup Ojha, Kathmandu

Jan 18, 2017-

The Department of Roads (DoR) has announced Rs 3.4 million for “relocating” Sorhakhutte Pati, a 207-year-old resting place for travellers, which was demolished two years ago during the government’s road expansion drive. 

According to the DoR, the Department of Archaeology (DoA) will be given the amount for building the pati 50 metres southeast of where it was originally located. 

The DoA is the authorised body to preserve objects of cultural and archaeological significance that are more than 100 years old. 

“We have already dispatched a letter regarding disbursing the fund to the Ministry of Urban Development,” said Dev Kumar Tamang, chief of the Division Road Office under the DoR.  

The pati with 16 wooden pillars, hence the name Sorhakhutte, which means “having 16 legs”, was demolished in 2015. 

Locals of the Sorhakhutte area and cultural experts had taken strong exception to the move of demolishing the ancient structure. Amid growing pressure, then Sushil Koirala-led government had directed the authorities to “relocate” the pati. 

But things had failed to move forward as both the DoR and DoA maintained indifference.  Ram Bahadur Kunwar, spokesperson for the DoA, said it is the first pati being relocated due to the road expansion drive. 

Then April 25 earthquake happened. The quake which killed nearly 9,000 people and destroyed millions of houses also damaged thousands of heritage structures. The plan to relocate the pati then took a backseat. It is believed that the Sorhakhutte Pati used to serve as a resting place for people travelling to Nuwakot, Dhading, Gorkha, Manang, Gulmi and other western parts of the country in days of yore when Kathmandu was not linked with road networks. 

Laxmi Ratna Tuladhar, coordinator of Wada Nagarik Manch (citizens’ forum) of Ward 16, where the Sorhakhutte Pati is located, said the DoR agreed to relocate the structure only after continued pressure from locals. 

Legend has it that Bhotu Pande, a subordinate commander (kapardar) during King Rana Bahadur Shah’s reign, was carried to Sorhakhutte after fell unconscious during a war at Kerung in Tibet in the late 1780s.

Once he regained consciousness, Pande felt grateful that he got a new lease of life and constructed the pati and donated 20 ropanis of land where a traffic police post, an eye clinic, ward office, Lekhanath Sahitya Sadan and a four-storey elderly home have been constructed. 

Published: 18-01-2017 08:22

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