In this Nov. 20, 2016 file photo, Buddhist monks circle around the Boudhanath Stupa during during the final day of its purification ceremony in Kathmandu, Nepal. (AP Photo/Niranjan Shrestha, File)
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A year and a half after a colossal earthquake destroyed hundreds of treasured historic sites across this mountain nation, Nepal Tuesday celebrated the restoration of the first major one to be rebuilt – an iconic Buddhist monument topped in gold that towers above Kathmandu.Believed to have been built in the 14th century, Boudhanath was shaken by a magnitude 7.8 quake in April 2015 that devastated the nation, killing nearly 9,000 people and displacing millions.Nepal's chronic political instability – 24 governments in the past 26 years – has greatly hindered rebuilding efforts. It took nearly a year for the government even to form an earthquake reconstruction authority; some 4 million people, meanwhile, spent winter homeless in the Himalayan nation.
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