ASI, its Nepalese counterpart to restore Pashupatinath temple

New Delhi: Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) along with its Nepalese counterpart and Pashupati Area Development Committee will work jointly to restore the ancient Pashupatinath temple, a project that is expected to cost Rs 25 crore.

Authorities in Nepal have been waiting for India's response in this regard for over a year as the 5th century shrine is in need of repairs.

 ASI, its Nepalese counterpart to restore Pashupatinath temple

A general view of the Pashupatinath temple. AFP

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had offered special prayers at the famed Shiva temple in Kathmandu on Monday before returning to India after a two-day visit to Nepal and "felt extremely blessed". He also made an offering of 2500 kgs of sandalwood.

Nepal government had approached ASI for the restoration work last year and subsequently an ASI team had visited the shrine and submitted a preliminary report to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).

With Modi visiting Nepal, Govind Tandon, the Member Secretary of Pashupati Area Development Committee, has expressed the hope that the restoration and repair work will begin soon.

"We have got the information from Nepal's Ministry of Culture that it (the project) has been agreed in principle. Nepal's archaeological department, Pashupati Area Development Committee and India's ASI will work together for this," Tandon told PTI from Kathmandu.

"A steering committee in this regard will be formed and both the governments will outline the directives. We hope that the work will begin as soon as possible. It will cost around Indian rupees 25 crore," he said.

The Director General of Nepal Archaeological Department S Narain Dahal voiced happiness over the development and said that Modi has won the hearts of Nepalese people through his visit.

"Modiji's Nepal visit was extremely successful and people of Nepal are very happy. We want ASI to work with us for the restoration of Pashupatinath. We had approached them couple of years back and their senior officials had visited the temple last year. I was also present there," he said.

The temple is located on the banks of the Bagmati River in Deopatan, a village 3 km northwest of Kathmandu. It is dedicated to a manifestation of Shiva called Pashupati (Lord of Animals). It attracts thousands of pilgrims each year.

PTI

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Updated Date: Aug 05, 2014 16:39:48 IST