Update on May 27th:
The Nepalese government has announced the re-opening of almost all the monuments that were closed for inspections after the earthquake. In the Kathmandu valley the only exceptions are the Kasthmandap temple and the Kathmandu museum, both in Kathmandu's Durbar Square. The re-opening of the monuments will take place on June 15th, 2015.
Update on May 21st:
As we gathered more information over the past few weeks, our hearts became much heavier with the news that filtered in about our staff's extended family that is spread all over Nepal. Many relatives of our staff were affected by the earthquake, including the unfortunate demise of one staff member's sister and niece, and the same sad news about a chauffeur's father.
These tragedies happened in villages where the structures have always been inadequate, and many others related to our staff also lost their homes in such rural areas. Besides the commitment stated in our initial post on April 28th, Easy Tours has already provided funds to all our Nepal based staff members that were affected. We are grateful to our guests who have contributed directly to staff members and guides that they encountered during their tour of Nepal.
We would like to repeat what we stated in our initial post about the devastating earthquake -
What is most important is that all explorers not give up on their future plans to visit Nepal.
When the dust settles (5/21 - as it now has, and the data following this post proves), it will be realized that only a very small percentage of the historical monuments will have suffered damage. The friendly people of Nepal, their colorful culture and the amazing scenery will still be the same. What will have changed is Nepal's need for the tourism dollar.
Its economy has always been greatly dependent on Tourism and is now facing the daunting task of rebuilding its infrastructure without this income for the near future. We do not believe that people traveling to the Kathmandu region from this summer onwards will suffer inconvenience and strongly urge you to not abandon the Nepalese people by canceling or altering your plans for travel in Nepal. When you consider the above, please bear in mind that less than 3% of Easy Tours' revenues come from our operations in Nepal. Our request for you to visit Nepal comes from our love for the Himalayan nation and its people, and not from a concern for our business interests.
Narayanhiti Palace Museum
- Minor damage but building is standing strong.
- Currently closed for public but may open soon.
- Boudhanath is not much affected by the earthquake just the outer-layer is scratched and pinnacle on the top of the stupa is slightly moved and other small sized stupa is damaged.
- Open to public.
Patan Durbar Square
- Beside 2 temples in the premises, all other structures are open to Tourist.
- Anantapur temple is damaged but the stupa is Alright.
- Open to public
Kathmandu Durbar Square
- Most affected tourist spot with majority temples either caved in partially damaged.
- Only 8-10 temples are standing tall.
- Entry is restricted. After necessary evaluation by Arch / Muncipal depts. Same will be open to public (no particular date can be provided of opening of entry into the monuments).
- Foreign tourists are still visiting site.
- Main structure got little or no damage.
- Only few temples residing next to main structure got some structural damage but locals are visiting the temple just now for cremation purpose only.
- Main doors of Shiva Temple are being closed for public darshan till further notice.
From our Nepal Office, May 5th:
On April 25th, 2015 a 7.9-magnitude earthquake struck Nepal, killing more than 7,500 and injuring more than 14,000 people. It was the most powerful disaster to strike Nepal since the 1934 Nepal/Bihar Earthquake. Some Casualties were also reported in the adjoining areas of India, China and Bangladesh.
The earthquake triggered an avalanche on Mt. Everest and the Langtang Area. Hundreds of thousands of people were made homeless when entire villages, especially in the Gorkha and Sindhupalchowk districts near the Nepal/Tibet Border, were flattened.
Out of 75 districts of Nepal, 11 districts are badly affected. More than 7,500 people lost their lives during the earthquake and so the nation is facing unimaginable human and physical loss due to this occurrence. We express our deepest sorrow and condolences to the bereaved families, and pray for eternal peace of departed souls.
We Nepalese are thankful to all those countries who came forward to support our Nation when we needed it the most. Now search and rescue work is completed and plans for the reconstruction of the monuments are being discussed. Immediate support and rehabilitation of the affected homeless people are on-going, and will continue.
Analysis of the Effect
The Earthquake hit mainly the older non-concrete and non-cemented structures. As most of the houses in the countryside were made of mud/stone materials, hundreds of thousands of people were rendered homeless, with entire villages, especially in the Gorkha and Sindhupalchowk districts near the Nepal/Tibet Border, being flattened.
Although a few of the historic monuments in the Kathmandu valley, Everest Summiteers and Langtang area were all badly affected, other tourist attractions are almost unaffected. Pokhara, Lumbini, Annapurna region , Chitwan,Tansen, Bandipure, Bardia etc. are all safe to visit.
All airports in the country are in operation.
On behalf of the nation, entrepreneurs and people of Nepal, we would like to express our sincere gratitude to all supporters around the world. Tourism Industry is the major industry of Nepal, on which the maximum number of the people of the country are dependent. This is the time when the people of Nepal are in most need of your support and it is vital that people do not cancel any planned trips to Nepal, but should rather encourage others to visit Nepal for the following reasons:
1. Natural calamities such as Earthquakes, Tsunamis are not predictable, and they do not normally repeat in the same location within a short span of time. Nepal last had such an earthquake in 1934, which is 82 years ago.
2. With the due support of the world, we have almost completed search and rescue operations and the international rescue teams have returned home. Daily life is gradually returning to normal.
3. There are not any problems with transport, accommodation and activities for tourists all around the country. All hotels in Kathmandu, Pokhara, Chitwan, Luimbini, Bardia and other tourist destinations are open.
4. The international airport and all domestic airports are unaffected by earthquake and all are in operation.
5. All services including 'on arrival' visas at the airport are being provided as usual.
6. All national and international airlines are providing their regular services.
7. All trekking /hiking routes are open, and all permits for these routes are being provided as usual.
8. The Nepal Government, Ministry of Tourism , Nepal Tourism Board, and tourism Entrepreneurs’ Associations are all committed to make your Nepal Trip easy, comfortable, safe and guaranteed.
9. As the whole nation is united to minimize the effect, there are no political disturbances, no strikes, no closures, and all are ready to provide full tourist services.
10. The international support in providing immediate relief/rescue is highly appreciated.
As we could not stop such calamity, it happened. The whole world joined hands and united souls with Nepal to fight in minimizing its effects.
Tourism can be an immediate tool to make people active, busy and optimistic. Thus, we appeal to all our well wishers and friends of Nepal to promote Nepal more strongly . Do not cancel any of your trips to Nepal. This will be a great help to rebuild our nation on the one hand, and our personalized service will make your trip to Nepal a really memorable one on the other hand.
April 28th: Easy Tours shares your grief and concern for the tragedy that has befallen our colleagues, friends, and the citizens of Nepal. We have been able to communicate with some of our key personnel over the last few days and are grateful that they have escaped personal harm.
Due to a severely compromised communications infrastructure, our offices are still trying to reach many of the guides and chauffeurs that we work with. We do know that many reports in the media are highly exaggerated – for example, all the hotels that we use in Kathmandu suffered no significant damage, and are currently assisting relief efforts by housing everyone they can, including survivors from Everest, in every conceivable manner, including in their lobbies.
We are amazed by the outpouring of concern from our past guests and their desires to contribute to the relief fund. Given below are 3 United States charitable organizations that are actively targeting relief to the citizens of Nepal.
What these charitable organizations have in common is an excellent track record of channeling almost all of their collected funds directly to the causes that they support. The premier organization that monitors (and reports on) charities is Charity Navigator (themselves deserving of a small donation) and these organizations have been shown to possess the highest levels of transparency and efficiency in their operations.
Easy Tours will donate a portion of all our proceeds for the second quarter of 2015 to Nepal relief efforts. What is most important is that all explorers not give up on their future plans to visit Nepal.
When the dust settles, it will be realized that only a very small percentage of the historical monuments will have suffered damage. The friendly people of Nepal, their colorful culture and the amazing scenery will still be the same. What will have changed is Nepal’s need for the tourism dollar.
Its economy has always been greatly dependent on Tourism and is now facing the daunting task of rebuilding its infrastructure without this income for the near future. We do not believe that people traveling to the Kathmandu region from this summer onwards will suffer inconvenience and strongly urge you to not abandon the Nepalese people by canceling or altering your plans for travel in Nepal. When you consider the above, please bear in mind that less than 3% of Easy Tours’ revenues come from our operations in Nepal. Our request for you to visit Nepal comes from our love for the Himalayan nation and its people, and not from a concern for our business interests.
Convoy Of Hope: Nepal Earthquake Response
Concern Worldwide US: Nepal Relief
Save The Children: Nepal Children’s Emergency Relief Fund