Concrete houses displacing clay houses in Manang

Manang, Feb. 4: The combination of increased tourism, western cultural influence, and overall development has contributed to the gradual displacement of traditional clay houses in Manang.

Locals attribute the decline of mud houses to practical issues such as water leakage and discomfort during rain. Simultaneously, the pressure to cater to tourists’ preferences for modern amenities has fuelled the shift towards concrete structures. Ram Gurung, a young businessman in the area, emphasised the necessity to accommodate tourists in well-equipped facilities. “Providing services in old mud houses is challenging, and tourists prefer modern conveniences,” Gurung explained.

Acknowledging the impact of changing weather patterns, Gurung notes that while snowfall remains a constant phenomenon, the increased frequency of rainfall has led to the deterioration of traditional mud houses. Consequently, he opted to embrace modern technology and began constructing concrete houses to combat issues like leaking roofs and structural collapse.

Karmachiring Gurung, a local resident, highlighted the evolving climate conditions as a driving force behind the community’s shift toward concrete dwellings. “Previously, Manang experienced only snow, but now with more rain and less snow, building concrete houses becomes an obligation,” he states, expressing concern over the fading legacy of traditional houses.

Preserving the historical significance of Manang’s iconic houses is paramount for the well-being of future generations. Local authorities, residents, and the government must collaborate in safeguarding these cultural treasures. Raising awareness and active participation at the local level are essential steps toward ensuring the conservation of Manang’s rich architectural heritage.

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