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Kathmandu Durbar Square is the religious and social heart of Kathmandu’s old city and is a complex of palaces, temples, shrines, statues and courtyards built by the kings of Nepal between the 12th and 18th centuries.

The square in the heart of the city also has the old Royal Palace, Hanuman Dhoka (Hanuman Gate), with temples inside, as well as outside. The palace is called so as a stone statue of Hanuman,the monkey god, is placed right next to the main entrance protecting the whole palace.

In recent years, Kathmandu Durbar Square has lost its old charm due to urbanization, increased numbers of polluting vehicles, hawkers and small market stalls.

To restore the Square to its old form we conducted these activities:

  • Pressure rallies with local schools, clubs and residents to build awareness of the situation.
  • Clean-up groups.
  • Awareness campaigns to implement proper waste disposal and banning of vehicles in the Square.
  • A signature campaign to ban vehicles within the area.
  • An observation tour for the media to ensure there was massive media coverage of the situation.
  • A proposal to the Kathmandu Metropolitan Corporation regarding the preservation of Kathmandu Durbar Square.
The Impact:

  • The formation of the Kathmandu Durbar Square Conservation Committee.
  • A complete ban on entrance of vehicle in the area.
  • No parking allowed for any vehicles within Kathmandu Durbar Square.
  • No hawkers or small markets within the heritage area.
  • Tourist Vendors have been allocated specific times and places for trading.
  • Renovation works of many temples have been completed by the Kathmandu Durbar Square Conservation Committee.
  • Numerous private organizations and NGO's have shown concern in the restoration and safeguard of Kathmandu Durbar Square.

Tripureshwor Temple, founded by Queen Lalita Tripura Sundari in 1818, is a traditional Newari temple in Kathmandu.

The courtyard where the temple is situated has been the centre for numerous traditional communal feasts, festivals and daily ritual worship activities. Furthermore, for over four decades, the space has also been used as a blessed shelter for homeless vagrants. After the 1934 earthquake, fire and general neglect, the temple is now in the verge of collapse.

Our Activities:

  • A series of awareness activities to highlight the importance of this heritage site.
  • On-site inspections by tourism entrepreneurs, the media, the Department of Archaeology.
  • A written proposition on the preservation of this multicultural heritage.
The Impact:

  • A massive renovation project is being conducted by the Department of Archaeology
  • Better ritual activity has been re-established for the local Hindu community.
  • Conservation of this temple complex has given a renewed cultural focus.

Ranipokhari a lake located in the heart of Kathmandu, has a temple of Shiva in the middle of the lake. Once a year, worshippers are allowed to enter the lake to pay homage to Lord Shiva.

Currently, the whole lake area is decaying and damaged and the level of water in the lake has greatly decreased.

Our Activities:

  • A series of clean-up programs.
  • Meetings with appropriate authorities.
  • Media campaigns to highlight the historic and cultural importance of Ranipokhari.
The Impact:

  • Public response to support our Activities in Ranipokhari has increased.
  • Regular clean-ups and restoration is undertaken by our employees.
  • The Kathmandu Metropolitan Corporation has demolished illegal shops bordering Ranipokhari.

Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve is home to around 300 bird species is a site for several migratory birds, and has numerous mammals, including endangered ones.

The extraordinarily rich wildlife of this sanctuary is under threat from rapid deforestation, poaching and lack of education facilities for local people.

Inorder to address the problems of Koshi Tappu we conducted the following activities:

  • Construction of three school buildings.
  • Training programs in schools on conservation, biodiversity and preservation of culture and heritage.
  • Contributions to schools from naturalists, teachers, instructors and volunteers from The Explore Nepal Group.
The Impact:

  • A growing enthusiasm amongst the local population to send their children to school.
  • A reduction in environmental degradation of the area.
  • Local authorities in association with The Explore Nepal Group are interested in implementing similar programs.
  • An important village within the area has been declared a "plastic free zone".

The scenic and cultural beauty of Balaju Park along with its twenty-two-water spouts, a Buddhist monastery and temples of Vishnu and Shiva inside the park, had been threatened by lack of waste management, illegal activities, and the environmental insensitivity of visitors.We organized several activities for the preservation of the park.

Our Activities:

  • Park Clean-up programmes by organizing volunteers from our staff, local residents and park administrators.
  • Provision of dustbins for safe waste disposal by The Explore Nepal Group.
  • Media campaigns to highlight the preservation and importance of Balaju Park.
The Impact:

  • Balaju Park has now been transformed into a beautiful park.
  • Staff members of the park now conduct regular clean-ups and monitor the park regularly.
  • The use of plastic bags within the premises has been discouraged.
  • Land encroachment has been halted.
  • Parts of boundary walls have been reconstructed.
  • Small bamboo and stone parks have been constructed within the park which welcomes visitors with seasonal blooming flowers.
  • Similar programs have been initiated in other public parks of Kathmandu.

Swayambhunath Stupa, on a hilltop overlooking Kathmandu is a World Heritage Site declared by UNESCO, for its historical importance, remarkable architecture and cultural riches. The area around Swayambhunath used to be a forested green area, however the unmanaged waste from numerous visitors and shops has threatened its beautiful surrounding.

We have conducted the following activities to address the problem:

  • A series of clean-up programmes to combat pollution from solid waste.
  • Publishment of flyers explaining the need for waste management to preserve Swayambhunath.
  • Successful media campaigns on television and print media.
  • Many field activities and lobbying the relevant authorities.
The Impact:

  • Regular clean-up programmes have now been initiated.
  • Renovation is underway.
  • Committees are working on the preservation of Swayambhunath.

Tundikhel,is a huge green field in the centre Kathmandu. Half is maintained by the Nepalese Army which holds parades or similar events on it. The other half is open to the public.

Many now use this half for relaxation, others as a freeway and traders as a market place. Litter is overwhelming, and the field is used as a public toilet.

Our Activities:

To combat pollution from solid waste and litter, The Explore Nepal Group together with The Kathmandu Metropolitan Corporation, the Environmental Department and The Royal Nepalese Army the following was done:

  • Hawkers and small traders illegally trading were removed or fined.
  • Clean-up programmes were conducted.
  • The broken parts of the low fencing were blocked with barbed wire.
  • Volunteers from The Explore Nepal Group regularly monitored the area.
  • Media observation tours disseminated information to the general public.
The Impact:

  • A nine feet tall metal fence around Tundikhel constructed by the government.
  • Access to the area through one entrance only.
  • Hawkers and traders completely banned.
  • A significant increase in public awareness.
  • Periodic clean-up programs.

THE EXPLORE NEPAL P. LTD., PH: +977 1 4226130 / 4247081, EMAIL: EXPLORE@MOS.COM.NP