CHANDA RANA For Neoclassic Palaces

Thanks to her lonely struggle to save the neoclassic palaces, Chanda Rana, a heritage conservationist, should get the credit of saving Sita Bhwawan

Aug. 19, 2018, 12:19 p.m. Published in Magazine Issue: VOL 12 No.03, August 17, 2018 (Bhadra 01, 2075) Online Register Number: DOI 584/074-75

Although the mayor of Kathmandu Municipality remained adamant to his decision to demolish historic Bagh Durbar, Chanda Rana has been able to convince the authorities on the need to preserve Sita Bhawan.

“Non… stop Battle unless Mayor Bidhya Sundar Ji backs off. #backoffKMCto demolishBagdurbar,” writes Rana.

Following the earthquakes of 2015, many neoclassic palaces were cracked and many of them were demolished despite her lonely battle. Although Rana suggested retrofitting or at least saving the front face of Laxmi Niwas, Lalita Niwas and Sigh Mahal, the authorities demolished some very important parts of Nepal’s history and symbols of neoclassic palaces.

“If we are going to Retrofit Sita Bhawan why can’t we do same to Bag durbar ?” asked Chanda Rana on her Facebook page.

At a time when almost all cracked neoclassic palaces are in the process of demolition, Rana is going from door to door and raising the awareness about the need to save the neoclassic palaces.

As most of the architectural wonders and palaces built in Malla period were retrofitted and saved, the palaces, which were built in Shah, Thapa and Rana periods, have received less attention from even the architects and lovers of heritage.

Bagh durbar.jpg

Fighting a lonely battle for almost three years, Rana has now found the young generation of heritage lovers like Alok Tuladhar, Damodar Neupane and Sanjaya Adhikary, who are taking the stand to save Bag Durbar.

“So Gallery Baithak will be Retrofitted? Covering of Roof by NRA is a step ahead for Preservation ? Thanks to Dr.Govinda Pokharel for taking lead for Retrofitting. I had Good talk with Him today. Rana Durbars are Our Heritages.”

Over the periods of three decades, many of the historically important neoclassic palaces were demolished one and after another. After the earthquakes of 2015, the pace accelerated.

Although neoclassic palaces have so much of historical importance, only a few people have been raising their voices to save them. Heritage activist Chanda Rana is in the forefront of the few. If she and her heritage activists will be able to save Bag Durbar, many other palaces will be protected and saved.

“I will continue my struggle to save the neoclassic palaces,” said Rana.

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