Over the last couple of days, we have continued to expose what remains of the tiled floor dating to the 1960s and we have identified further areas where damage was caused in the post-earthquake emergency response. We are also emptying the backfill from our excavations last year and are beginning to expose some of the saddlestones, cross-walls and foundations that we had previously identified.
Now that excavations are under way we have had many visitors to the site. As well as interest from the local media we have also been visited by several well-known faces of Nepal. On Sunday, we had the visit of Baikuntha Manandhar, a legendary Nepali marathon runner who won three consecutive gold medals at the South Asian Games in 1984, 1985 and 1987.
Anjali Maskey, a ‘Universal Sister’ also visited the site today. During Tihar, the New Year and festival of light in Nepal, Anjali acts as a surrogate sister on the day of Bhai Tika, providing Tika to men who do not have a sister. She has conducted this ceremony at the Kasthamandap since 1998, and has continued these rituals even after the collapse of the structure last year. This shows the continued spiritual focus at the monument and the importance of this location in Kathmandu, even though the building no longer stands.
We look forward to more visits in the coming days and weeks!