KATHMANDU: A golden jalahari weighing 108 kg has been installed under the Jyotirlinga in the inner sanctum of the Pashupatinath Temple in Kathmandu on Wednesday.
President Bidya Devi Bhandari visited the temple Wednesday morning and performed special worship named ‘pran prathistha’ which is believed to bring the idol to life.
According to the Pashupati Area Development Trust (PADT), the chief priest Rawal Ganesh Bhatta along with other Bhattas installed the golden jalahari above the earlier dilapidated silver jalahari after President Bhandari made the special worship and offered prayers.
Member-Secretary at the PADT Dr Pradeep Dhakal said that the Jyotirlinga in the Pashupatinath Temple is not allowed to touch by others than the designated priests-Bhattas.
The silver jalahari was installed in 1838 BS during the reign of Rana Bahadur Shah. It was repaired later in 2024 BS. The golden jalahari was installed above the silver one after the silver jalahari placed at the bottom of Shivalinga developed many cracks and got fragmented in course of time.
President Bhandari’s communication expert Tika Dhakal shared that the puja ceremony lasted for nearly 45 minutes. Then the President prayed for the peace in the nation.
A team of 125 Brahmans -25 of them invited from India- and rest other Nepalis, had been performing atonement puja since Saturday to seek forgiveness with the Lord Shiva to whom the temple is dedicated to, informed PADT’s Treasurer Dr Milan Kumar Thapa.
On the occasion, President Bhandari, who listened to the Shantipaath, chanting of the Brahmans calling for peace, had also taken a tour around in the temple area and offered prayers at other shrines in the premises.
Present on the occasion were Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Bhanubhakta Dhakal, Director General of the Department of Archeology Damodar Gautam and the PADT officials.
The PADT has been estimating the cost for plating the roof of the temple and basaha in front of the temple with the gold, according to which, additional 20-kg of gold may be needed and total cost of the jalahari and gold plating of the roof and basaha would reach around Rs 1 billion.
The four main doors of the temple covered with silver sheet would also undergo maintenance.