HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
KATHMANDU: Around 100 special puja are daily performed in the Pashupatinath Temple making a handsome income for the religious shrine.
Although the demand for special puja is higher, the temple is keeping its requests to only 100 pujas, Pashupati Area Development Trust (PADT) informed.
Hundreds of devotees visit the temple every day, while the number goes up to thousands on special occasions and festivals.
“Despite higher demands for special puja, we are only able to take100 requests each day,” PADT treasurer Narottam Vaidya said.
The devotees are not charged for worshipping at the temple, however, they have to pay a certain amount for special puja that the main priests of the shrine perform.
According to the Pashupati Area Development Trust, the rate for special puja ranges from Rs 1,100 to Rs 1.1 million.
The PADT has been maintaining the records of temple’s income and offerings since April 8 after the implementation of a regulation meant to make the temple earning transparent.
Earlier, the priests and caretakers of the temple were alleged of gobbling up the offerings made at the temple.
The annual income of the temple used to be Rs 2-4 million.
“While only in the past five months, we have collected Rs 42.5 million, of which Rs 24.5 million was earned from regular offerings while remaining Rs 18 million from special puja,” he said.
The funds collected from the offerings are deposited at the PADT bank account every day.
According to Vaidya, the devotees have offered from Rs 1,100 to Rs 1.51 lakh for special worshipings since April 8.
“Five Indian devotees offered the highest amount of Rs 1.51 lakh for special puja till August 16,” he said.
Pashupatinath Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a famous shrine.
The pagoda-style temple is believed to be more than 2,000 years old.
It was last renovated about 200 years ago and is in dire need of a facelift.
Although PADT had planned to renovate the temple two years ago, the plan remains on paper due to fund crunch.