Kathmandu [Nepal], February 24 (ANI): Nepali President Bidhya Devi Bhandari on Wednesday participated in "Kshama Puja" and administered the inauguration of the new 'Jalahari' at Pashupatinath Temple.
President Bhandari reached the revered Hindu holy site in the late afternoon and performed the special worship for atonement and administered the inauguration of the new 'Jalahari', the base of Shiva Linga inside the temple.
"We had undertaken the task of installing a new Jalahari inside the temple for over a month. The installation was complete last evening and the honorable President performed special worship and inaugurated it. A total of 108 kilograms of gold has been used for the purpose," Dr Pradeep Dhakal, Member Secretary of Pashupati Area Development Trust told reporters.
Thirty-three Brahmins from India have come for worship before placing the golden 'Jalahari' in the main Shivalinga of the Pashupatinath Temple. They have been worshiping for few days. A total of 121 priests of Bhagwat Ashram and Pashupati are performing pooja.
The decision of the government to replace the base of the Shiva Linga with a gold filling came into controversy as historians claimed that it is against historical and religious values. Many activists protested the plan to replace the ancient silver base with gold.
Two writ petitions were also filed in the Supreme Court on Monday against the government's decision to install golden Jalahari at the Pashupatinath Temple.
Hours after inauguration by President Bhandari, the apex court issued an interim order in the name of the government to not install the new gold 'Jalahari'.
A single bench of Justice Purushottam Bhandari issued the order in response to a writ petition filed by advocate Nikita Dhungana, who claimed that the government's decision to install the gold Jalahari is against the tradition of the temple as well as the provisions of the Ancient Monument Preservation Act, 1956.
The bench has also summoned the defendants including the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers for the next hearing of the case on Monday next week. (ANI)