Kathmandu, Sept. 13: The denizens are going to see water trickling down from Sundhara, the famous water spouts of Kathmandu, thanks to the National Reconstruction Authority (NRA) for its effort to give a new lease of life to the golden spouts. Water has dried up in the spouts since 2005 after the construction of Kathmandu Mall building. The NRA has planned to renovate the spout and bring water back to it together with the construction of the new Dharahara. The Sundhara had worn a desolate look after its water source was destroyed during the construction of Kathmandu Mall building. Sundhara is one of the cases to show how development of structures causes destruction to important heritages. It was built by Queen Lalita Tripurasundari Devi in 1885 B.S. “We have planned to dig around six or seven wells in the Tundikhel ground to bring back water to the Sundhara spouts. Water channel of the spout lies 6.2 metres below the ground level,” said Raju Man Manandhar, an expert of the NRA. The exit channel has also been damaged while building the structures of the Sundhara-based hotels near Dharahara. The current challenge faced by the NRA is to bring back water and open new exit water channel, he said. “We need to dig a 23-ft deep channel from Sundhara to Tripureshwor to let out the water from of the spout.” Sundhara is an example of magnificent work of art and masterful engineering. The golden spout was constructed with the objective of providing water facility to the people. The water brought from Budhanilkantha was damaged during the construction of Kathmandu Mall, said Govinda Tandan, a culture expert. Tandan said that they tried their best to preserve water source. “We published several articles in the newspaper, raising voice against the government decision,” he said. Earlier, the developmental concept was stronger among the authority than the preservation of the heritage sites. However some people have started realising that the carrying out of development works is meaningless if it means the destruction of heritage. But the damage caused to historical sites during development works has taught an important lesson, Tandon said.
According to Tandan, the Department of Archeology remained silent during the construction of the Kathmandu Mall and took no action to preserve the water source of Sundhara. Recalling the time when water used to flow from the spout, he said that the spout was famous for clean water and it was the major water source of the area. Manandhar said that the existing three stone spouts would be carved in the required size and the shape and gilding would be applied on 16 gauge bronze. The final casing will be placed and sealed hiding the joints of the spouts and made it ready for use, he said. Around Rs. 1.2 million cost is estimated for manufacturing, supplying, fixing and finishing gold plated bronze casing for the existing Sundhara. A bell made of an alloy of brass and zinc, locally called Dhalaut, will also be installed. The bell will be of an approved size having a diameter of 0.9 metre and a minimum height of 1.00 metre. NRA has estimated it would cost Rs. 800,000 to install the bell, and additional Rs. 800,000 for the installation of oil-fed lamp (Diyo) of carved stone. Similarly, the NRA has also planned to install flowerpots to add beauty to Sundhara.