TOWER) - KATHMANDU
Class VIII A
- Destroyed by
•Location - Kathmandu, Nepal
•Coordinates - 27°42′03″N
•Completed - 1832 (1832)
•Destroyed – 1) 15 January
1934 (1934 earthquake)
•2) 25 April 2015 (2015-0425) (2015 earthquake; a 10metre-tall (33 ft) stump of the base remains
Dharahara is also known as the Bhimsen Tower.
It is 203 ft. (61.88 m) tall.
It was built in 1832 by Mukhtiyar (equivalent to
Prime Minister) Bhimsen Thapa under the
commission of Queen Lalit Tripura Sundari and
was a part of the architecture of Kathmandu
recognized by UNESCO.
Most of the tower collapsed in the 25 April 2015
Nepal earthquake, but the base remains. About
180 bodies were found in the rubble. The tower
collapsed during lunch hour.
Dharahara in Kathmandu was the tallest building in Nepal and the second such tower built by Bhimsen Thapa. The first tower was built eight years earlier in 1824 and was 11 stories high, two stories taller than the Dharahara. Dharahara is said to be built for Queen Lalit Tripura Sundari, who was the niece of Bhimsen Thapa. During the earthquake of 1834, both towers survived, but the first Bhimsen's tower suffered severe damage. A century later, on 15 January 1934, another earthquake completely destroyed the first tower, and only two of the 11 stories of the second tower remained. The then Prime Minister of Nepal, Juddha Shumsher, subsequently carried out renovation work of the Dharahara tower to fully restore it. After the original Bhimsen Tower was destroyed, Queen Lalit Tripura Sundari's tower became known as 'Bhimsen Stambha' or 'Bhimsen Tower'.
Remains after the 2015 Earthquake
Dharahara was constructed for military use as a watchtower. When incidents of national importance occurred, bugles were blown from the top floor of the tower. This was the signal for soldiers to assemble. This tradition of bugle trumpeting continued until the collapse of the tower.
On 25 April 2015, another earthquake, with an estimated magnitude of 7.9 (Mw), hit the region, leading to the collapse of the tower. The earthquake's epicenter was approximately 29 kilometers (18 mi) east-southeast of Lamjung, Nepal. The structure collapsed and only its base survived.
The tower had a spiral staircase
containing 213 steps. The eighth floor
held a circular balcony for observers that
provided a panoramic view of the
Kathmandu valley. It also had a 5.2-metre
(17 ft) bronze mast on the roof.
The architecture of Dharahara was
designed in both Mughal and European
style. It resembled an Islamic minaret.
The statue of Hindu deity Shiva was
placed on the top of the tower.
Tourism Before Collapse
The tower was a major tourist attraction and was
open to the public from 2005 until its collapse in
2015. The fare for entering the site and ascending the
tower was set at the following rates;
Foreigners — USD 4.00 (around NPR 400)
SAARC nationals — USD 1.00 (around NPR 100)
Locals — NPR 50 (around USD 0.50)
Locals under age 5 and over 65 — Free
The management of Dharahara when it was standing
came under severe scrutiny from locals and tourists.
The Heritage Department of Kathmandu Metropolitan
City came under severe criticism for its lack of effort
to protect the heritage site
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