An artisan carving a wooden rafter for Manakamana Temple in this recent photo. (Narahari Sapkota/ Republica)
GORKHA, Nov 11: Renovation work of the quake-ravaged Manakamana Temple, a popular pilgrim site of Gorkha district, has been delayed by eight months in lack of wood.
Although the temple's reconstruction work should have reached the final phase by now, only about 70 percent of work has been completed so far, according to the district's Renovation Committee, stating that shortage of wood have hit the renovation work.
Last year's catastrophic earthquake had badly damaged the temple, pushing it sideways. The reconstruction work had begun shortly after, with an aim to complete it by 2017. However, the construction work is already 6-7 months behind the schedule, according to Narendra Babu Shrestha, chairman of the committee.
“We immediately need about 3,000 cubic feet of wood to continue the renovation of the temple. However, scarcity of wood has halted the work as of now,” informed Shrestha.
A total of 16 workers, including masons and carpenters, have been working in its renovation. Although the renovation has been hit by shortage of wood, the project has sufficient money for its completion, according to the committee. The renovation is estimated to cost about Rs 130 million.
Although the renovation cost was estimated to be at Rs 85 million initially, the committee said the cost has increased lately. “We are still yet to purchase 1.5 kg of gold and copper worth Rs 3 million needed for its roofs. So far, we have completed the works only till the second floor,” said Shrestha.
According to Shrestha, they have received Rs 6 million as donations from devotees and pilgrims.
Although the temple has sustained damages to a great extent, the management committee has made special arrangements for pilgrims to perform worship, informed the temple's priest Ishan Thapa Magar. About 5000 pilgrims visit Manakamana Temple on a daily basis, according to him.