The Boudhanath Stupa, one of the Unesco-enlisted heritage sites in Nepal which was severely damaged in an earthquake last year, was reopened for public on Tuesday after completion of its reconstruction.
Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’, inaugurating the 36-metre-tall Boudhanath Stupa for the public in Kathmandu, thanked India as well as China for extending financial support for the reconstruction of the ancient Buddhist shrine, Xinhua news agency reported.
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Cabinet ministers, high-ranking government officials and foreign diplomats were among those present at the inauguration ceremony. The Boudhanath Stupa is the first heritage site to be renovated following the devastating earthquake that hit the Himalayan nation on April 25 last year.
The quake claimed over 9,000 lives, left thousands injured and destroyed or damaged a large number of buildings. The reconstruction, which began two months after the quake, was completed earlier this month at a cost of Nepali Rs 230 million ($2.1 million).
Reconstruction of other heritage sites is still underway or in the early stages, authorities said. Buddhist monks performed purification rituals after the completion of renovation on November 18.
Boudhanath, the largest stupa in Nepal, is considered the holiest Tibetan Buddhist temple outside Tibet, making it the centre of Tibetan culture in Kathmandu. Thousands of domestic and international tourists visit the shrine annually.