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Centuries of history turned to rubble in minutes: How Nepal earthquake destroyed many of the country’s iconic landmarks

    • The Dharahara Tower in Kathmandu was brought down by the force of yesterday’s 7.8 magnitude earthquake
    • Durbar Square in the centre of the Nepalese capital is filled with rubble after historic temple collapse
    • Complex above the city which is considered one of the holiest sites in Buddhism was also hit by the disaster
    • More than 2,500 people are believed to have died in the devastating earthquake in Nepal and neighbouring countries


Destruction: The Dharahara Tower, which was first built in 1832, has been almost completely obliterated by Nepal’s earthquake


More than 2,500 people died in the quake as buildings collapsed raining down debris on the streets below, while enormous avalanches on Mount Everest left climbers dead.

One of the most prominent landmarks to be destroyed by the earthquake was the Dharahara Tower, also known at the Bhimsen Tower, which has almost totally collapsed after more than 180 years of standing in Kathmandu.
The 200ft tower was built in 1832 by prime minister Bhimsen Thapa as a gift to the queen, who was also his niece.

It had to be rebuilt after a previous earthquake in 1934, but the latest disaster has left the tower as nothing more than a stump, killing scores of people who were trapped inside at the time.

Kathmandu’s three ‘Durbar Squares’, the courtyards outside the city’s old royal palaces, were devastated by the earthquake, with historic temples razed to the ground by the shocks.

In the largest, known as the Kathmandu Durbar Square, rubble was piled up today after a large stepped temple was obliterated in the quake.

Images of the Durbar Squares in Patan and Bhaktapur, on the outskirts of Kathmandu, were also devastated by the shocks.

The streets of Bhaktapur were impassable because of the rubble which lay several feet deep, with fragments of religious sculptures among the stonework on the ground.

In Patan, a temple had its tower broken in half, while the square was strewn with bricks.

The Syambhunaath Stupa, known as the ‘monkey temple’ which stands on a hill above the capital, also suffered severe damage.

While the complex’s main golden tower was thankfully untouched, many other temple buildings were totally destroyed.

The Buddhist site dates back 1,500 years, and is considered one of the holiest places in the world for residents of neighbouring Tibet.

The 7.8 magnitude quake struck just before midday yesterday, sending tremors through the Kathmandu Valley and the nearby city of Pokhara.


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