In April and May 2015 the east-central districts of Nepal were struck by earthquakes which killed over 8000 people and displaced 2.8 million. The destructive force of these quakes impacted not only on hill districts, but also on Kathmandu.
In the immediate aftermath of the 25 April quake, much coverage was given to the collapse of the Dharhara, the tower established by Bhimsen Thapa in 1825/6 to mark ‘national independence, unity, Gorkhali pride, progress and advancement’.
Questions about public memory, history and identity often arise in the aftermath of a major natural disaster. When the earthquake that struck east-central districts of Nepal on 25 April 2015 destroyed the Dharahara, a 203-foot tower erected in Kathmandu nearly two hundred years ago, its ruined stump provided a focal point for many of them. Although it was unloved by most cultural historians, in the immediate aftermath of the 2015