The massive 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Nepal’s Kathmandu Valley on 25 April, 2015, with large amount of casualties rendered and villages flattened. The epicenter Gorkha district, which lies north of the main highway between Kathmandu and Pokhara, suffers the deadliest impact. The tremor triggered an avalanche on Mount Everest and killed hikers. Adjoining areas of China, India and Bangladesh were affected but no severe devastation has been reported. A series of aftershocks continue to hit during the days and may in the days ahead, causing new quake temblors and damages.
Nepal boasts many cultural heritages designated by the UNESCO, abreast are awe-inspiring natural wonders including Mount Everest. Unfortunately, after the earthquake, things are different. Seven groups of monuments and buildings in Kathmandu Valley make up the world heritage site. Take a sad look at what has gone and what stands still.
Swayambhunath (Monkey Temple): heavily damaged, while the central stupa with the famous Buddha eyes gazing out still stands.
Boudhanath Stupa: though significant cracks developed in surrounding structures, the white-topped dome of the stupa remains standing.
Hindu temple complexes at Pashupatinath: survived and remains unharmed.
Hindu temple complexes at Changu Narayan: partially collapsed.
The nine-storey Dharahara Tower, once loomed over the Kathmandu city for 183 years and was reconstructed after Nepal's 1934 earthquake, now is in rubble.
Lumbini, the birthplace of the Buddha and the oldest Buddhist shrine, inflicted only minimal impact.
Pokhara and Chitwan are not much affected in terms of loss. The tourism resources remain unharmed in both cities.
Reopening of World Heritage Sites
On 15 June, Nepal reopened most of its UNESCO groups of monuments and buildings in Kathmandu Valley. Travelers must wear helmets and be on a guided tour to ensure their security inside and around the buildings.
Reopening of trekking routes
Most trekking routes, including the popular Langtang route, could all be reopened by the autumn, according to local tourism experts and officials.
Most tour offices, hotels and shops have reopened throughout the Kathmandu Valley as they didn’t suffer structural damage. Communication has been back and airports have resumed operation some time ago. While security measures and tourist lanes has been adopted in the reopening sites, UNESCO raised safety concerns that travelers should reconsider unnecessary visit to or inside the affected attractions. Speaking from another perspective, Nepal needs your future visit - this country heavily relies on its tourism industry. Some danger might exist between June and August as the monsoon season looms, therefore it is advised to put back trekking itinerary until September, while Kathmandu, Pokhara, Chitwan and Lumbini are comparatively safe to visit throughout time.
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