At a time when conservationists have been launching the campaign to save the palaces built different period of time, Kathmandu Metropolitan is preparing to take a decision to demolish Bagh Durbar, one of the historic palace of Kathmandu.
Despite vehement campaign against the demolition of Palaces built after the unification of Nepal by conservationist Chanda Rana, the government is permitting the demolition one after another.
The Himalayan Times revealed the news quoting the official of Kathmandu Metropolitan. Joint Spokesperson at KMC Numaraj Dhakal said the latest study report, which was submitted two weeks ago, stated that Bagh Durbar was badly damaged and could not be retrofitted. “We had been waiting for this report and finally KMC has decided to demolish the building,” Dhakal quoted by the Himalayan Times. He further added that Bagh Durbar’s demolition will begin in one-and-a-half months.
Built during the period of first prime minister of Nepal Bhim Sen Thapa by Amar Singh Thapa, the palace was occupied by various rulers and individuals. Ministry of Finance also located here for quite a long time before handed over to Kathmandu Metropolitan. Then mayor Keshab Staphit took the initiative to make this building the property of KMC.
KMC, Mayor Bidya Sundar Shakya declared to construct a new office building for KMC when he took an oath of office.
A study had also been conducted on whether Bagh Durbar could be used after retrofitting as engineers had found the building unsafe in the aftermath of the April 2015 earthquakes.
According to KMC, the new building will be constructed in three years. However, cost estimates and design of the new building have not yet been prepared.
Currently, KMC office, which has more than 200 staffers, is operating from Bagh Durbar. “We have demanded two flats and DCC Kathmandu is positive about it. So we are preparing to shift to Babarmahal as soon as possible,” he added.
Earlier, KMC and the Department of Archaeology had differences over whether or not to demolish the historic Bagh Durbar, which is located to the west of Tundikhel.
History of Bag Durbar
Bag Durbar, is a Thapa palace in Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal. The palace complex, located west of the Dharahara and Tundikhel, incorporates an impressive and vast array of courtyards, gardens, and buildings. Initially, the palace was owned by Amar Singh Thapa Sardar of Bagale Thapa dynasty and his descendant but later was occupied by Royals of Shah dynasty, and later by the government of Nepal.
According to Wikipedia, the palace complex lay in the heart of Kathmandu, to the north of the Bagmati River. The history of the palace is closely linked with the history of Nepal and its rulers.
In Royal courtier family Thapa, some lived in Thapathali Durbar complex and some lived towards the west of the Sundhara in today's place of Bag Durbar. Initially, a palace was built by Amar Singh Thapa (Sanu) and later a new palace was built and used by Bhimsen Thapa due to its close proximity to the Royal Hanuman Dhoka Palace in 1805 AD.
Wikipedia writes after the fall of Bhimsen Thapa in 1837, this entire palace complex was seized by Government of Nepal but was later occupied by Prime Minister Mathabarsingh Thapa as a descendant and member of Bagale Thapa clan. Bag Durbar was again sized Government of Nepal in 1845 after the murder of Mathabarsingh Thapa by his own nephew Jung Bahadur Rana.
After nationalization of Bag Durbar, this property was given to Royal Prince Upendra Bir Bikram Shah in 1854. However, he was kept under house arrest for Treason. Upon his death, in 1896 BS this palace was inherited by his son Bhupetindra Bikram Shah and again to Bhupitendra's son Mohan Bikram.
As Mohan Bikram was RamRaj (Zamindar of Ram Nagar estate) he started living in Ramnagar, India. Thus, his property was used by his step brother Chandra Bikram Shah.
Both Mohan Bikram and Chandra Bikram were the Son-In-Law of Prime Minister Juddha Shumsher JBR so their property was eventually captured by Juddha and his son Hari Shumsher.
After the death of the Hari Shumsher as he had many sons Bag Durbar was eventually sold to the government of Nepal.