25 Indian priests in Kathmandu for ‘Kshama Puja’

Kathmandu, Feb 23 (IANS) At least 25 special priests from various sacred temples of South India have reached Kathmandu to perform ‘Kshama Puja’ (forgiveness worship) at Pashupatinath temple in Kathmandu as the authorities have started work to replace the existing silver jalhari of the temple with gold-plated jalhari.
Kshama Puja is often performed if there is need to make any changes to the temple, replace idols or if regular prayers are obstructed for some reasons, the Himalayan Times reported.
Pashupati Area Development Trust (PADT), has in this regard, invited a total of 121 priests, including 96 Nepali priests, to perform Kshama Puja.
The silver jalhari was placed by King Rana Bahadur Shah during his rule from 1777 to 1799. PADT member secretary Pradeep Dhakal said, “We have already started the work of making gold-plated jalhari, and it will be placed within a week.” He further said that the new jalhari would be placed without removing the existing silver jalhari.
Dhakal further said that for the jalhari 108 kg gold worth Rs 500 million was used, and the new jalhari would be placed amidst tight security of the Nepali Army inside Pashupati Area.
As many as 10 persons have been deployed to make the jalhari, and they have been instructed not to leave the vicinity until completion of the work for security reasons. The work is continuously being monitored by a monitoring committee, which comprises heritage and cultural experts, including Dhakal himself. The entire area where the work is being carried out is under CCTV surveillance.
Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli had offered Rs 300 million for the purpose and additional Rs 200 million was managed by PADT itself.
PADT has also started work to gold-plate the roof of Pashupati temple and basaha in front of the temple. For the purpose, PADT has allocated additional Rs 300 million.
Dhakal informed that the temple and the basaha will be gold-plated before Shiva Ratri festival.

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