1996, 2000 and 2002 World Monuments Watch
For centuries, the Teku Thapathali Monument Zone, located at the confluence of the Bagmati and Vishnumati rivers in the Kathmandu Valley, has played a critical role in the spiritual lives of both Hindus and Buddhists alike. The temples, shrines, sattals (resthouses), and ghats (stone steps) lining the river banks have served as a location for worship and funeral rites. The sacred Bagmati River is accorded healing powers. Over the past three decades, however, Kathmandu has undergone rapid and unrestricted development. A jumble of houses, hotels, and commercial buildings crowd neglected temples and the rivers have become little more than open sewers. Recently, the government made repairs to some of the temples, but the surrounding sattals, which define the sacred precinct, remain badly deteriorated. Without much needed emergency repairs to temples and shrines, and a comprehensive plan to curb development and dumping, the sacred precinct of Teku Thapathali is sure to vanish.