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Nepal Situation Update after Earthquake

The life is gradually returning to normal after the catastrophic earthquake on April 25, the strong aftershocks which followed and then the shake on May 12, 2015.

We would like to update you that there are hardly any damages to the East, Mid-West and Far-West Nepal. The earthquake has had effects on the central and western districts only. There are lots of touristic things that are still intact, standing strong, enticing, adventurous and which should still be on the top of your travel plans. You can still enjoy your time in Pokhara or go on a wildlife safari in Chitwan.

AIRPORT/AIRLINES
Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) of Nepal is fully functional. Airport in Kathmandu has not suffered any damage and in operation. The runway and other navigation equipment are all safe. There is no damage in any domestic airports in Nepal. All services including on arrival visa at the airport are provided regularly. All the international flights and domestic flights are operating as per schedule. Mountain flights are operational for groups.

ROADS/HIGHWAYS
Roads connecting to and from Kathmandu are in good condition and operation normally. There is no affect in main highways of Nepal. All the main roads and inner roads of Kathmandu valley are fully functional. Local/public transportation, tourist vehicles have resumed operations. As a preventive measure, some of the inner alleys are closed for larger vehicles passing by considering the safety of cracked houses.

Similarly, major highways are fully operational. Movement in Mugling – Narayanghat section was blocked after the highway was blocked by landslide on 25 April 2015 and 12 May 2015. The landslide and debris was cleared on the same day and it is now operating normally.

Arniko Highway which leads to the China boarder (Tibet) is operational now. Many houses and shops have been affected in that area. There is a risk of landslide so we do not recommend driving through this highway at the moment.

HOTELS/RESTAURANTS
Majority of hotel sustained no major damage from the follow-on big aftershocks. Hotel building and facilities have now been inspected by structural and civil engineers, and have certified that the hotel's structure is safe and operations can continue as normal. All the major hotels are back in business with full operation.

Most of the restaurants are operating fully while some of the restaurants within Durbar Square have been damaged and are at potential risk. Nevertheless, there are enough eating & dining options in and around Kathmandu to make up for this loss.

SHOPPING AREAS
Most of the valley shops have started to re-open. From small grocery shops, apparel stores, small shops to big malls are getting back to the business. Majority of the malls have opened partially while some are yet to open as they suffered some damage.

MAJOR TOURIST DESTINATION
Majority of tourist destinations like Pokhara, Chitwan, Bandipur, Lumbini, Bardia are remain unaffected.

• Pokhara
The earthquake also hit Pokhara city. However, there's no damages reported for this beautiful lake city and there are only minor damages for couple of residential houses. All the adventure activities like ultra-light, bungee, paragliding hiking, boating, and biking can be organized as done in the previous time.

• Chitwan
The area is intact and safe though Chitwan was also hit by the earthquake. Visitors can do all the jungle activities similar to the past. All the properties are fully operational.

• Nuwakot
Nuwakot is hard hit by the earthquake. Rescue and relief operations are still underway. The Famous Farm – Nuwakot couldn't resist the tremor and suffered with minor damages on main buildings. 6 rooms in next wing are currently in operation. The construction and maintenance process is going on.

• Gorkha
The Gorkha is hardly hit by the earthquake as the epi centre was in BARPAK Village of Gorkha. Gorkha Gaun Resort has released a notice that they have minor damages on the wall and will be operational by October 2015 for the season.

• Bandipur
Bandipur was less affected by the earthquake and the destination is safe and intact. All the properties are fully operational.

• Lumbini
Lumbini is unaffected by the earthquake. All the sightseeing places in Lumbini are safe and sound. All the hotels are also fully operational.

TREKKING ROUTES
• Annapurna Region
Annapurna Region remains unaffected by the earthquake. All the trails and tea houses are intact and safe according to our respected trekking Sherpa guides and partners. The Ker and Downey Luxury lodges are also intact while Jomsom airport is also fully operational.

• Everest Region
Everest Base Camp is operational. Lukla airport is fully operational. We have reports of damages in some of the tea house lodges but most of the lodges in the route are fine and intact. Gokyo Trail (Machermo and Dole) have been highly affected, many houses and lodges have been damaged. The Everest Summit lodges (Comfort trek) in Lukla, Monjo, Mende, Panboche, Tashinga have recently released a notice that they have minor damages and will be operational by October 2015 for the season.

• Langtang and Manaslu
Langtang and Manaslu areas were hard hit by the earthquake. The rescue and relief operations are still going underway. These areas have been closed for trekking and hiking until further notice.

HERITAGE SITES
A lot of monuments, heritage sites have been partially or fully damaged or collapsed with one kind or another. However there are still many monuments, heritage sites which are still intact, safe and standing strong.

Monuments unaffected in Kathmandu Durbar Square

• Shiva Parbati Temple
• Kumari Bahal (House of the Living Goddess)
• Seto & Kal Bhairav
• Ason Tole
• Indra Chowk (Akash Bhairab Temple)
• Seto Machindranath Temple (Jan Bahal)
• Nardevi Temple

Kasthmandap Temple, Maju Deval Temple, Dash Avtar Temple, Krishna Temple, 9 storey's Temple are the monuments affected in Kathmandu Durbar Square which are damaged or demolished.

Monuments unaffected in Patan Durbar Square

Patan Durbar Square has been less affected compared to Kathmandu and Bhaktapur.

• Golden Temple
• Kumbheswor
Mahabouddha
• Rudra Bama Mahabihar
• Krishna Temple

Jagan Narayan Temple, Hari Shankar Temple, Vishwonath Temple are the monuments which are affected by earthquake in Patan Durbar Square.

Monuments unaffected in Bhaktapur Durbar Square
Fortunately, most of the monument and temples in Bhaktapur Durbar Square are intact and need minor maintenance only. However, the old town of Bhaktapur which houses private residences has been highly affected by the earthquake. Other squares like Taumadi, Datatray, Pottary square have very minor concerns.

• Nyatapola Temple
• 55 Windowed Palace
• Lions Gate
• Golden Gate
• Thimi Village
• Dattatraya Temple
• Pujai Math

Jaganath Temple, Watshala Temple, Shilu Mahadev are the damaged monuments in Bhaktapur Durbar Square.

Sightseeing in Kathmandu Valley
Government authorities and engineers have been examining the buildings in Kathmandu after the quakes and aftershocks. There's been rule of marking houses "Safe after slight maintenance" with a Green Sticker, "Safe after significant maintenance" with a Yellow Sticker and "to be demolished" with a Red Sticker after inspection.

Majority of the entrance ticket fee counter on the affected heritage sites are now closed as rebuilding, repairing and maintenance work is still in progress. The work has begun to clear the debris of collapsed heritage places in the valley. Historical important things had been cleared and secured by Nepal Army in all heritage locations. Various artists and craftsman, engaged in various forms of traditional artworks including wood carvings, stone sculpture and carvings, wall paintings, had already begun consultations on rebuilding and restoring of the damaged heritage sites. Government authorities, officials, tourism industry stakeholders are all concentrating on rebuilding of the destroyed monuments in a coordinated manner at the earliest.

We are anticipating that this situation will be normal, rebuilding process will be put into action soon and the tourist will be able to do normal sightseeing of heritages places by the end of June. The collapsed damaged heritages sites will take time to rebuild but we are hopeful that the partial damaged heritage monuments will be rebuilt soon and intact. Visitors will be able to visit before the season starts.

Boudhanath
Remains unaffected.

Pashupatinath
Remains unaffected.

Swayambhunath
The main Stupa is standing strong but there has been severe damage in the surrounding areas.

• Shantipur - collapsed
• Anatpur - collapsed
• Pratpur - minor cracks
• Karmaraja mahavihar - partial damage
• Devadharma mahavihar - partial damages

Bungmati
White Shikara style Rato Macchendranath Temple has collapsed.

Khokana
Pagoda Style Temple is in good condition. But the local villages are highly affected leaving many houses completely demolished.

Sankhu
Bajrayogini Temple has sustained minor cracks. But the local villages are highly affected leaving many houses completely damaged. Maa Temple – completely damaged

Nagarkot
The view point and tower is intact. Guided hiking activities can be organized as done in the previous time. The road linking Kathmandu – Nagarkot is perfectly fine and fully operational. However, most of the houses in the villages are damaged due to the earthquake. Some of the major resorts are also affected.

Changunarayan
The main temple has sustained some minor cracks but the entrance wall is at risk of collapsing any time. It is now supported with wooden planks.

Dhulikhel
Dhulikhel remains unaffected. The old town is fine, only a few houses have been damaged. Most of the hotels are operational with minor cracks.

Banepa/ Panauti
Chandeshwori Temple is fine. But the Mahadev Temple nearby is damaged in Banepa. Old Panauti town has sustained minor damages yet the town is fine.

Namobuddha
The road linking Kathmandu is fine. Namobuddha Monastery is intact. Minor damage has been reported in the Stupa of Namobuddha. Local villages on the way are reported to be affected by earthquake as well.

We are monitoring the situation closely and shall keep you all updated with a follow up report as the need arises.

There is no doubt that Nepal is a country that will amaze you on many levels. Its variety of landscapes, cultures and people offer a wide variety of activities for travelers to get engaged in. In many travel reviews and travel sites, Nepal is one of the most popular travel destinations in Asia because of its natural beauty, bio diversity, eye catching Himalayas, multi-cultural lavishness and different dialects, friendly people and their warm hospitality. Nepal is on the 19th Position of Trip Advisor Travelers Top 25 Destination of 2015 recently.

This beautiful piece of heaven on earth needs you to recover from the current destruction, and the best way to contribute to reconstruction/relief is to visit & support Nepal because just a few of travel destinations within Nepal have suffered damages. Now, is the time to rebuild this beautiful country. It's still beautiful, & it's still culturally rich.

As we could not stop such calamity, it happened. We pray God for the speed recovery after this devastating earthquake and hope no further big quakes again. We are hopeful and positive that Nepal's shattered heritage sites will be rebuilt to their original states soon. We would like to thank all who are supporting heartily on this tragic situation. We are resilient and strong keeping our hopes alive that we will recover this tragedy soon.


Gelephu Airport opened
A little more than three years after being inaugurated, Gelephu domestic airport has now been certified by the Bhutan Civil Aviation Authority as fit for scheduled flight operations.

The certification is an international requirement, which means necessary infrastructure, human resources and procedures, among others, are in place to allow scheduled flights.

The Department of Air Transport's (DAT) officiating director Karma Wangchuk said that the agency had written to the national airline Drukair informing it of the certification. "It's up to them when they want to start," he said.

The DAT has already stationed 21 staff at the airport. A fire truck has also been sent to the airport.


60th Birth Anniversary of the 4th King

As part of the 60th birth anniversary celebrations of His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo, 100 people planted 50,000 tree saplings in an hour, below Kuenselphodrang on June 2 to beat the current world record of 40,885 trees planted in Assam, India. The initiative is to keep up with His Majesty's vision towards conservation of the environment and to maintain the forest coverage of 60 percent.


Ludrong Memorial Garden Inaugurated on 22 May 2015
His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo inaugurated the Ludrong Memorial Garden, a gift to the people of Bhutan from Her Majesty the Royal Grandmother KesangChoedenWangchuck, on her 85th birth anniversary at Langjophakha, Thimphu. With the historical inaugural ceremony, Her Majesty the Royal Grandmother's long standing wish was fulfilled.

His Majesty the King planted a cypress tree, while His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo and Her Majesty the Royal Grandmother planted a chinar (Platanusorientalis) sapling tree each to commemorate the auspicious occasion. The Memorial Garden stands between the 15th century Tashichhodzong and the country's present day Parliament house, with the Wangchu (river) drawing a fine line between these two monumental giants.