Kathmandu: The devastating earthquake that struck the Nepalese capital has turned the 500-year-old Kashtamandap temple to rubble, killing several under the debris of the historic structure from which the city derives its name.
Incidentally, on the fateful day, a private company had organised a blood donation camp and most of the donors including the nurses are dead.
“The day when earthquake had struck, many had gathered inside the temple to donate blood. It all happened in a second and everything was under the rubble.
“So, they did not get enough time to react. Some, who were donating blood, simply pulled their needles off and rushed outside, but many could not escape.
To add to the misery, people thought that since the temple has survived earthquakes before, it can manage even this time. So people from outside rushed inside,” said Ajay Shakya, 21, a volunteer and student who stays near the temple.
“Fortunately, the camp was about to end when the earthquake struck, which reduced the casualties. When the bodies of the nurses were recovered, their position was such that they had covered their heads with their hands,” said Suniti Tamrakar, another volunteer at the site.
The 16th-century temple is located near the famous Darbara Square , which has seen a lot of casualties and rescue operations are still on.
The structure was a crucial part of the Nepalese heritage in the city.
It is also believed that Kathmandu city got its name from the temple and it was constructed from a single tree with beautiful sculpting done on them.
The Gorakhnath temple also had four Ganesh temples. “The idols were recovered and have been kept safely,” added Shakya.
Meanwhile, the work on clearing the rubble is still on. Although the hope for survivors coming out of it is fast fading, rescue teams are working hoping for a miracle.