BISHNU PD. ARYAL
KATHMANDU: The Pashupati Area Development Trust (PADT) is all set to revise rates for special puja at the Pashupatinath Temple in about a week.
According to the PADT, devotees perform special puja of 17 types at the temple in coordination with the priests, paying Rs 1,100 to Rs 1.1 million in the shrine. For special puja, the devotees can offer cash and goods as per their wish.
“We will revise the rates for special puja at the temple within a week,” said Sushil Nahata, PADT member-secretary.
“The minimum amount for special worship will be Rs 1,100,” Nahata said, adding that PADT is yet to finalise other rates.
Nahata informed that the PADT plans to introduce special puja of different types based on culture and tradition.
“The number of special puja is sure to go up,” said Nahata.
“Belpatra puja on festivities linked to Shiva and Pradosh puja, among others, are likely to be included,” he said.
Nahata informed that Pashupati Area Development Trust aims to conduct Pradosh puja twice a month.
In a bid to make the temple incomes transparent, the PADT started keeping a record of offerings made to the temple from April 8 in keeping with new regulations.
Earlier, caretakers, storekeepers and priests of the temple used to handle earnings of the temple in a haphazard manner.
In the past, the annual income of the temple would not exceed Rs 4 million.
“Under the new regime in which the PADT will pay salary to the temple staff, we have collected offerings worth Rs 3 million,” Nahata said, expressing hope that the temple income will increase with the introduction of new special puja.
Even under the new regime, the PADT has been unable to manage basic infrastructure for the devotees. “We are working to manage basic infrastructure like close circuit television cameras, metal detector, drinking water, toilets and waiting shelters,” PADT member-secretary Nahata further said.
“The facilities will be provided temporarily very soon,” he said, pledging to make permanent arrangements in coming years.
The pagoda-style Pashupatinath Temple is believed to be more than 2,000 years. It is one of the 10 UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Nepal.