‘Chiva Chaitya’ in association with World Monuments Fund organized a ‘Watch Day 2020’ to increase awareness about the current pandemic and heritage protection.
Chivas and Chaityas have been a very important part of the Kathmandu Valley and beyond in terms of archaeological, historical, social and economic value to communities living around them.
One of the major reasons Kathmandu Valley is called a living museum or city of temples is because of these numerous Chivas in the valley and the rituals performed around them. These monuments in the valley even date back to the Lichhavi Era and before and are at more than 2000 various locations around the valley. Now because of various reasons including urbanization and lack of awareness among residents these ancient heritages are in danger.
Because, these Chivas and Chaityas carry immense historical and social value, the World Monuments Fund has included them in the year 2020 Watch list. This has further highlighted the need for preservation and promotion of important heritage Chivas and Chaityas of Kathmandu Valley.
‘Chiva Chaitya organization’ has been carrying out various awareness programs and restoration efforts to highlight the importance of heritage preservation and the promotion of Chivas. Now during the pandemic, the issue of heritage preservation may not seem to be on the priority list for many, but the importance for the preservation and required awareness for this has increased.
With this view ‘Chiva Chaitya’ in association with World Monuments Fund, a ‘Watch Day 2020’ was observed to increase awareness about the current pandemic and heritage protection. The aim was to increase awareness among the general public about the important rules of protection against the pandemic as well as for about the preservation of the Chiva and Chaitya.
The Watch Day 2020 was held on October 3, 2020, at the premises of Swoyambhu with all required measures of social distancing and personal protection. Masks and awareness materials were distributed to visitors at Swoyambhu, a World Heritage Site. Pre-registered volunteers participated in cleaning of the Chivas in the various areas covering numerous Chivas in and around the Swoyambhu.
Photo displays with photos of Chiva and awareness messages was conducted at the area of Pulangu Swoyambhu, which is one of the routes visitors take.
‘Chiva Chiatya’ believes that the event helped increase awareness about heritage protection and at the same time got an opportunity to involve youths in hands-on experience with the Chivas and Chaityas.
Chiva Chaitya will continue to conduct various awareness and promotional programs for the protection of heritage like Chivas and Chaityas of the Kathmandu Valley and also conduct restoration and documentation work of the irreplaceable heritage of the country in association with various partners and engagement with local communities.