THT 10 years ago: Heritage site sold off to businessman for profit

Kathmandu, July 13, 2006

A historic, religious “temple-house” in the heart of the capital is being turned into a commercial building, courtesy the traditional caretakers who sold off the heritage site to a businessman on the basis of fraudulent documents.

Locals are staging protest programmes to stop the demolition of the ag-old building and raising an outcry to restore it to its original state.

The “Nasaa-dyo chhen” or temple-house, with a group of deities inside it, is now being demolished to erect a commercial building at Keltole, just outside the temple of Seto Machhindranath near Ason Bazaar.

The deity of Nasa-dyo in the house is worshipped by local Maharjan and Kansakar families before they learn to play or practice traditional drums. According to locals, two of the seven statues of the deities have been destroyed.

“We are shocked to find that the temple has been sold off. It is a travesty. We will go to court with all the old documents and get the fake purchase scrapped,” said Tirtha Dhar Tuladhar, an elderly local.

Tuladhar said the present owner would be forced to give up the possession of the monument and that the locals would also make him compensate for the damage he has caused to the temple.

The documents provided by Tuladhar reveal that the temple was handed over to a Kapali family in 1949.

Now, the house is shown as personal property of Bijuli Maya Kapali, Asha Maya Kapali, Chandra Maya Kapali, Narayan Prasad Kapali and Mishrinani Darshandhari.

PAC beards Pashupati priest on irregularities

The Public Accounts Committee of the House of Representatives and Mahabaleshor Bhatta, the head priest of Pashupati Temple along with its “bhandaris” today decided to formulate a management system to regularise income and expenditure of the temple in order to control irregularities.

In the meeting with the MPs, Bhatta and the bhandaris agreed to make the arrangements to streamline income and expenditure of Pashupati Temple where there is said to be rampant corruption.

When the MPs including PAC chairman Chitra Bahadur KC met Bhatta at his residence in the temple, Bhatta said that he would be happy to see a suitable management system and also called for a stop to blaming him for irregularities in the temple.

MPs Tek Bahadur Chokyal, Shiv Kumar Basnet, Bharat Kumar Shah, Dilli Raj Sharma, Ishwor Pokhrel and Krishna Bahadur Maharjan told Bhatta to be transparent, control irregularities and maintain a record of the income and expenditure.

Though the Supreme Court has ordered the Pashupati Area Development Trust (PADT) to promulgate a PADT regulation to streamline the money flow, it is yet to toe the SC line.