On April 25th 2015 a 7.8 magnitude earthquake devastated Nepal. Many of the Kathmandu Valley's historic monuments, buildings and temples were either completely destroyed or damaged. This page contains a list of temples that were either destroyed or damaged.
This page has been updated regularly. To produce a complete inventory due to the huge humanitarian relief effort and determining what was a damaged temple or collapsed was quite exhausting. The Digital Archeology Foundation spearheaded a project to digitally preserve the remaining temples in 3D due to a lack of historical documentation, maintenance and issues surrounding the protection of these buildings.
Between 2016-2018 there has been reconstruction work on temples that were either completely destroyed or partially. Most of this is in Bhaktapur Durbar Square and Patan Durbar Square. Sadly Kathmandu Durbar Square has become embroiled in a bureaucratic quagmire alongside Kathmandu city itself. However, in 2019 Kathmandu Durbar Square finally became reconstruction in earnest.
Many of the temples destroyed or badly damaged in Kathmandu city were located in Kathmandu Durbar Square. It is also called Basantapur durbar square. Durbar Square litrally means a "Place of Palaces." Kathmandu durbar square was originally formed from the palaces and courtyards of the old Malla and Shah kings dating back to the 15th century.
Outside of Kathmandu Durbar Square many temples and buildings survived with only minor damage or cracks. These include Boudhanath and Swayambunath. Let's take a look at Kathmandu Durbar Square's damage first.
Completely Destroyed. The very building that gave Kathmandu its name has been destroyed. It will have to be completely rebuilt. There was a plaque inside Kasthamandap that dates to 1048 which was enough to make it one of the oldest buildings in Nepal. It is now embroiled in a quagmire of discussions between the local community and authorities in regards to its reconstruction.
Kasthamandap reconstruction was finished in December
Maju Dega & Narayan Vishnu Temples
Krishna (Chasin Dega)
King Malla's Column
Shiva Prabati Temple
Dharahara (Bhimsen Tower)Completely Destroyed. (Located outside Durbar Square) Dharahara or Bhimsen tower was a nine-storey building constructed in 1832. On a (rare) clear day it offered views across the city. Currently involved in gridlock discussions about whether to turn the area into a shopping zone or historical area. Reconstruction was completed in 2021.
Temples/buildings that survived the earthquake in Kathmandu Durbar Square
Kumari House, Bimaheshwor Temple, Kabindradpur Sattal, House of the Priest, Kal Bhairab, Kabindra, Mahhendreshwar Temple, Taleju Temple, Vishnu & Indraha Temples and Jagannath Temple are all still standing safe. The inner palace was re-opened in 2017 but remains partially damaged..
A complete list of all temples in Kathmandu city including map locations and alternative places to visit is available in my guidebook to Kathmandu city
Patan's temples suffered a lot of damage. Most of it occurred in Patan Durbar Square. Cracks and breaks are showing on many buildings around the square. In 2017 a massive reconstruction effort began. In 2018 much of the area is adorned in scaffolding.
Kumbeshwar Temple Complex
Keshab Narayan Chowk
Degutalle & Taleju Temples
Temples/buildings that survived the earthquake in Patan
The Golden Temple, North Stupa, Kumari House, Krishna Mandir, Shikarra Temple, Chyasin Dewal, Bishwakaram Temple, I Baha Bahi Monastery, Machchhendranath Temple and Uku Bahal all survived.
The majority of Patans temples have survived though nearly all in Durbar Square took some damage. A complete list of all the temples in Patan including map locations is available in my guidebook to Patan city
Bhaktapur's suburbs took more damage than any of its three main squares. The iconic Nyatapola temple and most of Taumadhi square remains standing. Dattatreya Temple in Dattatreya Square is also relatively unscathed.
However, Bhaktapur Durbar Square did lose some icon temples and buildings
Vatsala Durga Temple
National Art Museum
Til Mahdav Narayan Temple
Temples and buildings that survived the earthquake in Bhaktapur
The majority of Bhaktapur's temples have survived. A complete list of pre-earthquake temples including map locations is available in my guidebook to Bhaktapur
Other Temples and buildings that survived the earthquake in the Kathmandu Valley
The majority of the Kathmandu Valley's temples have survived. Though the majority have sustained some form of minor damage. As a tourist one would not notice most of this damage
Swayambunath (Monkey) temple survived with only a few cracks though Anantapur (one of the large white chedis) was destroyed it is quite repairable.
In Boudhanath damage is minimal. The Boudha Stupa itself has only one large crack at its base which is very repairable and some metal work got damaged. Throughout 2016 the stupa was completely renovated and repaired.
In Pashupatinath damage was again minimal. Jayabageshwari temple has some damage. However Pashupatinath and the ghats are undamaged.
Restoration of the Kathmandu Valley Temples
Soon after the 2015 earthquake the Nepali Prime Minister announced that all the ruined temples would be restored. That's a noble but ambitious statement. The truth of the matter is many of Nepal's historic buildings have needed restoration for many years, let alone structural reinforcement. The responsibility lies with the Department of Archeology. The problem has always been a lack of funding and sharing of areas with local municipalities .
Though tourists saw a near year on year increase in entry fees few saw any improvements. Allegations of corruption and slow moving red tape have always gone hand in hand.