Mangal Bahudwar Chaitya recontruction completed

Kathmandu, August 22

A Jeev Nyas puja is being organised tomorrow to mark the completion of the rehabilitation of the Mangal Bahudwar Chaitya, a 19th-century stupa of unique style located at the Swoyambhu World Heritage site.

This ceremony will include Gajur (pinnacle) installation puja, Jeev Nyas puja, and Haratimata, Swoyambhu and Shantipur  Chhema pujas, which will be performed by local priests, according to the organisers.

During the 2015 earthquake, this stupa completely collapsed and numerous sculptures and votive objects enshrined inside were exposed. UNESCO, in close collaboration with the Department of Archaeology, the Federation of Swoyambhu Management and Conservation and the priest communities, Buddhacharyas and volunteer students from the Tribhuvan University, excavated and rebuilt the stupa and safeguarded its artefacts with financial support from the Chinese Hainan Province Cihang Foundation and the Fok Ying Tung Foundation.

According to UNESCO Nepal, more than 100,000 small votive stupas (tsha-tshas)  and 385 rare and valuable artefacts including coins, stone beads, bronze and copper chaityas, metal gods, gold foil with a repousse stupa, and a copper reliquary with inscriptions were discovered in the stupa during investigations and these were systematically photographed and inventoried.

This inscription was particularly interesting as it gives information on the person, a merchant trading in Tibet and India, who ordered the establishment of

the stupa.

The inscription specifies purpose, date and warning that any future rebuilding of the stupa shall be rebuild as original, if not, he will be cursed by the gods and goddesses. Therefore, these artefacts were carefully replaced in their original locations within the stupa during the reconstruction, said the UNESCO.