The National Reconstruction Authority has asked architects to prepare the reconstruction model of Bal Gopaleshwor temple that lies in the middle of Rani Pokhari following Granthakut design.
NRA officials said they opted for the Malla-era design as there were many disputes over the reconstruction modality of the temple among culture experts, locals and government authorities.
The temple as built in 1670 by King Pratap Malla in Granthakut design. The original temple was later destroyed in the earthquake of 1934. The temple was later reconstructed following Gumbaz model by the Rana rulers.
Following the 2015 earthquakes, locals and culture experts have been demanding that the temple be rebuilt in its original style. However, many government officials say there are not enough evidences to prove that the temple was originally built in Garnthakut model. Authorities concerned are even doubtful about the possibility of rebuilding the temple in Granthakut design.
Joint-secretary Raju Man Manandhar of Heritage Conservation and Government Building Construction Division under the National Reconstruction Authority said that they had asked heritage conservationists and senior architects to prepare reconstruction model of the temple following Granthakut style.
“But, we are yet to hold a roun-table meeting with culture experts and locals,” he added.
Bishnu Raj Karki, former director general of Department of Archaeology said there was high possibility for the temple to be rebuilt in Granthakut model.
Karki also headed the eleven-member expert committee which recommended that the Rani Pokhari be reconstructed following the Malla-era model and the Rana-era model. Kathmandu Metropolitan City, National Reconstruction Authority and Department of Archaeology have already agreed to reconstruct the pond in Malla-era model. However, they have yet to agree on reconstruction model of the temple.
Ganapati Lal Shrestha, a local, said that they were hopeful that the temple would be restored to its original design.
Meanwhile, the DoA has decided to bring the idol of Bal Gopaleshwor to Rani Pokhari on the day of Bhai Tika this year.
The temple of Bal Gopaleswor, that used to be opened for the public only on the day of Bhai Tika during Tihar, was destroyed in the 2015 earthquakes.
Many people who do not have brothers or sisters visit the temple on the day of Bhai Tika. The Department of Archaeology said it would bring the idol of Bal Gopaleshwor to Rani Pokhari from National Museum at Chhauni for the day so that people who did not have brothers and sisters could offer prayers to the idol.