Temple trust collects Rs 2.5m for Bhimeshwor conservation

- RAJENDRA MANANDHAR, Dolakha
Temple trust collects Rs 2.5m for Bhimeshwor conservation

Oct 26, 2014-

Under a new management, the Bhimeshwor temple has been able to collect Rs 2.5 million over the past 19 months. The Bhimeshwor Temple Trust and Management Committee (BTTMC) formed about two and a half years ago at the initiative of the locals for proper management and conservation of the temple had managed to accumulate approximately Rs 3 million over a period of 19 months — from February 22, 2013 till mid-September this year.

The collections from prayer offerings, animal sacrifice, and various religious ceremonies conducted by the devotees have increased drastically following reforms initiated by the temple. A revered destination among the followers of Hindu religion, it is a widely believed that the sweating of lord Bhimsen’s statue signifies a huge tragedy about to strike the nation.

Of the total Rs 3 million collected, Rs 2.5 million has been deposited at Agriculture Development Bank, Charikot branch at an interest rate of six percent per annum, said treasurer Bharat Shrestha of BTTMC. The remaining amount will be used for temple conservation and provide salary for those working for the temple.  

“Some basic reforms brought about by the committee in coordination with the locals has been enough to give the temple a much-needed facelift,” said Jiwan Shrestha, chairperson of the committee.

A few of the new policies include doing away with ‘tahaluwas’ (those roaming about the premises to take away money offered as prayer offerings by devotees) and instead give them work at the temple itself, counting and dividing the collected amount in the presence of the administration, and giving receipt and certificates to those donating large sum of money to the temple.

The aforementioned changes have not only increased temple earnings but also helped maintain transparency.

According to chairperson Shrestha, the closed circuit cameras (CCTV) provided by the Dolakha district chapter of Federation of Nepali Journalists played a pivotal role in the maximisation of temple earnings.

The CCTVs installed at the temple were provided in order to facilitate transparency and conservation of the cultural heritage. Furthermore, the decision of the management not to allow animal sacrifices within the temple premises, except during exceptional cases, have been welcomed by those against animal cruelty and helped keep the temple premises clean. Likewise, the solar light installed by social worker Ramhari Shrestha of Melung has enabled devotees to pay homage till late in the evening.  

However, the committee has also been criticised for some of its decisions. The committee’s decision to do away with the tradition of placing metal ‘Trishuls’ over Swami’s tree had angered the locals.

The decision was taken to avoid the tree from falling due to the massive weight of the object. Likewise, following massive public outrage, the committee had to roll back its policy of selling any object other than that carrying historical or archaeological significance to keep temple premises clean. Apparently, the committee had sold metal Trishuls and bells at Rs 195,000 through Raya Bisu Suppliers.

However, following public outrage and a complaint lodged at the Department of Archaeology, the committee has clarified that they had started retaining such objects. According to the temple committee, various objects and paraphernalia worth Rs 124,000 have already been retained as a result.

Published: 27-10-2014 09:10

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