The earthquake that shook Nepal on April 25 has claimed more than 7,000 lives and injured twice as many people. Around 8 million people have been affected with at least 2 million displaced.
Besides the human casualties and property damage in the billions, the earthquake devastated world-renowned monuments—many of them World Heritage Sites. UNCESCO chief Irina Bokova told the Associated Press that it was “heartbreaking” to see the destruction of Nepal’s distinctive blend of Hinduism and Buddhism.
Social media users took to posting the before-and-after images of the major monuments and significant sites.
The three durbar squares in Kathmandu Valley—Kathmandu Durbar Square, Patan Durbar Square, and Bhaktapur Durbar Square—have been damaged to the extent that it would take years to restore the ancient temples.
This breaks my heart. Basantapur Durbar square, one of the historic places of Nepal, before and after. pic.twitter.com/OLqnoluqnz
— FG (@FunnyGooner) April 25, 2015
BEFORE/AFTER: King Yoga Narendra Malla, Patan Durbar Square #NepalEarthquake #Nepal #Peace pic.twitter.com/BJ8Exx3gJK
— JigmeUgen (@JigmeUgen) April 25, 2015
One of the temples in Bhaktapur #Nepal before and after the earthquake. Two weeks ago the first pic was taken. pic.twitter.com/3DRWJdHFyc
— Marymoon (@MaCasasfranco) April 28, 2015
Dharahara, also known as Bhimsen Tower, was built by Nepal’s first prime minister, Bhimsen Thapa. The tower, once a 13-story minaret, was brought down by an earthquake in 1934. Rebuilt to a nine-story tower, it collapsed in the quake last month.
Other before-after was wrong but this one isn't. Dharhara tower: before, after, before, after #NepalQuake pic.twitter.com/M4QbQFGKc8
— Susan Hough (@SeismoSue) April 25, 2015
Swayambhunath, known as the Monkey Temple to foreigners, also saw damage to its temples.
A monk walks past the collapsed monastery and shrines at Swoyambhunath Stupa, a UNESCO world heritage site pic.twitter.com/AOWMerX3em
— Tourej Ansari (@tourejansari) April 29, 2015
Spectacular view of Swoyambhunath also known as monkey temple. #Travel #Kathmandu #Buddhism #Nepal pic.twitter.com/CW6dKVzi1o
— Trekking Nepal (@serenitytreks) April 1, 2015
One of the most beautiful temples along the bank of Bagmati River, the Kalmochan temple, was reduced to a mound of earth.
Kalmochan in #Kathmandu, #Nepal. One of my favs. Good morning :) #HelloMonday #temple #architecture #VisitNepal pic.twitter.com/ENC33HthBT
— Kashish Das Shrestha (@kashishds) January 5, 2015
The Kalmochan Temple built in Mughal style by Jang Bahadur at Thapathali down, only the Garuda stands guard. pic.twitter.com/KWfv4a7PHB
— Kanak Mani Dixit (@KanakManiDixit) April 25, 2015
Sankhu, an old settlement famous among the Swasthani Bratakatha pilgrims, also suffered huge losses.
#Sankhu where I lived in #Nepal, has suffered #NepalEarthquake,its so heartbreaking, before and after. pic.twitter.com/hsC99e6AOq
— © Roshan Karki (@roshankarki5) April 27, 2015
The area around the Changu Narayan temple, a World Heritage Site just few kilometers away from the Kathmandu Valley, also suffered major damage.
#changunarayan I so wanna be there . look it is so beautiful. #Nepalquake ruins it pic.twitter.com/u0iaMEeZ7Z
— Sandesh Byanjankar (@DesanBenz) May 2, 2015
Changunarayan stands sustaining some bruises, but the premises suffer quite a lot. Need restoration. #NepalQuake pic.twitter.com/vQnfnhFZRl
— Ugendra Shrestha (@ugendras) April 29, 2015
Khokana, an open museum of Newar culture, saw large-scale destruction.
Beautiful Nepal! Clicked this morning at Khokana ! pic.twitter.com/qGf2utcOA8
— dinesh dc (@dineshdcdc) March 28, 2015
Sameer carefully carries his two baby goats through his destroyed neighborhood in Khokana in #Nepal #Nepalquake pic.twitter.com/axFhhheSgb
— Natalie Curtis (@NatalieCurtis) May 1, 2015
Bungamati, an old Newar settlement, was also hit.
Heart Breaking ! Bungmati Temple : Before and After #NepalEarthquake #NepalQuake pic.twitter.com/VEuaLllXXk
— salokya (@salokya) April 28, 2015
Langtang village, the nearest place to be in the lap of Himalayas from the Kathmandu Valley and a favourite spot for trekkers, was completely destroyed by an avalanche that followed the quake.
Langtang village, Nepal before and after the April 25 earthquake: pic.twitter.com/bIzFVdXwxS
— Hanover Geology (@HanoverGeology) April 30, 2015
Barpak, a tiny picturesque hamlet in the Gorkha district, was at the earthquake’s epicenter. The village, home to the Ghale people—famous for their valour and service to the British, Indian, and Nepali armies, was completely destroyed.
Wrenching to see old photos of #Barpak (@sirish_shrestha) given #NepalEarthquake destruction now (@thedarjchron). pic.twitter.com/mYlDYg5Ugv
— Andy Revkin (@Revkin) April 26, 2015
The earthquake has left an indelible scar in Nepal. Specialist equipment and people with specialist skills will be required to conserve what survived. Despite the devastation and destruction, Nepalis haven't lost their hopes to rebuild their historic monuments and sites.
Shashi Raj Pandey, for example, tweeted:
There is a strong presence of hope in people, and a desperation to come back from grave-turned-dreams to rebuild. #NepalQuake
— Shashi Raj Pandey (@shashirajpandey) April 29, 2015
That’s nature telling you all these idols mean nothing it’s how you live your lives! Statues are not as important as the dreadful lives you give dancing bears, living breathing wildlife that should be free!