The 7.9-magnitude quake that struck Nepal not only exacted a terrible human toll, it damaged or destroyed several of the country’s centuries-old temples and UNESCO heritage sites.
Iconic monuments like Kathmandu’s Dharahara Tower collapsed and artifacts at the Patan museum were destroyed. People across Nepal took to social media to express their grief at the devastation of historic monuments and shrines.
All three Durbar Squares in the Kathmandu Valley were damaged by Saturday’s quake, which also shook large swathes of northern and eastern India.
Let’s take a look at the sites in Nepal before and after the massive temblor.
Patan Durbar Square
Situated at the centre of Lalitpur city, this third century Durbar Square is part of the royal palace of the Malla kings.
The tweet below puts the destruction at the site in perspective.
Bhaktapur Durbar Square
The term Durbar Square refers to areas opposite the old royal palaces of Nepal, which usually consist of temples, idols, open courtyards and fountains.
The Durbar Square in Bhaktapur, which was home to Nepal’s royalty till 1769, is the plaza in front of the royal palace of the old Bhaktapur kingdom.
These contrasting images of Bhaktapur Square uploaded by a Twitter user show how the World Heritage site was flattened by the quake.
Bhaktapur durbar square pic.twitter.com/SUzcqWoZrO— Solêtti (@iSolettti) April 25, 2015
Basantapur Durbar Square
This Durbar Square, which was the residence of Nepal’s royal family till the 19th century, was badly damaged in quake. This tweet shows the damage:
Basantapur.... its to much.... pic.twitter.com/RmNO1gzuKC— Basanta (@itssbasanta) April 25, 2015
Certain important artifacts were damaged in Patan museum. This tweet by Nepali journalist Kundan Dxit illuminates the damage:
The Dharahara or Bhimsen Tower is a minaret built by then prime minister Bhimsen Thapa in 1825.
Originally built as a military watch tower, it later became one of Kathmandu's key landmarks and a popular tourist attraction. This Twitter post captures the reduction of the nine-storey tower to a stump:
Shocking News from Nepal 9-storey Dharahara also known as Bhimsen Tower completely destroyed; 400 feared trapped . pic.twitter.com/JfCtFND3u8— Dibang (@dibang) April 25, 2015
This stupa in Kathmandu, one of the oldest Buddhist monuments in the Himalayas and one of Nepal’s largest stupas, was heavily damaged.
It was a very popular tourist destination.
This tweet shows the extent of damage at the stupa