Bal Gopaleshwor Temple opens for two days making history

KATHMANDU: The Bal Gopaleshwor Temple in the middle of Ranipokhari, which is normally opened for the public for a day of Bhai Tika, remained open for two days for the first time this year. "This happened as the people of the Newar community celebrated Bhai Tika today," said Harsh Narayan Guruji, priest of the temple. "People who do not have sisters and brothers come to this temple to worship the deity and receive Tika here," he added.

Majority of people celebrated Bhai Tika yesterday. However, the Newar community celebrated it today. This happened as the five-day Tihar had only four-day schedule in the calendar this year.

Nevertheless, some from the Newar community went through the usual five-day celebration. The Newars reasoned that they celebrated the festival as per the lunar calendar.

The temple was built in the seventeenth century by Pratap Malla. The temple has idols of Bal Gopal, Goddess Mahalaxmi, Shiva Lingum and Goddess Parvati. People who do not have sisters receive Tika at the temple from women and girls present at the temple.

Kiran Rana, hailing from Birgunj received Tika from Bimala Kapali, 45. She has been offering Tika to the men at the temple for the last 28 years. Another 77 year-old Ram Manandhar from Kalanki also visited the temple and received Tika from a sister this year. "I have not had Tika for about a decade although I have my sisters," said Manandhar. "This is the first time I came here and received Tika from an unknown sister," he added.

Meanwhile, Bishnu Adhikari, a staffer at Malla Hotel said that it was a great opportunity to visit the temple on the day of Bhai Tika.

"I received Tika yesterday from my sister and I am here today to pray in the temple and roam around the place of historical importance,” he said.