Several idols in Pashupati temple go missing

December 09, 2017

The Himalayan Times, 9 Dec 2017 

Many of the idols kept in Pashupatinath temple have gone missing in the last few years mainly due to poor supervision and security system of the temple.

Gold-plated roof of Basleswori Rath, which was used during Panchare Jatra, three statues of Barun Dhara spout near Bankali temple, gold-plated accessories of lord Shiva and goddess Parbati’s idols kept in Rajarajeshwori temple and its gold-plated roof, statues kept in Koteswori temple, which is no longer in existence now, idols kept in Jhamkeswori temple and idol of Bishnu Narayan, among others, have gone missing.

According to Pramod Acharya, a priest at Prakaseshwor temple, said most of the idols were of Lichhivi and Malla era. “Statues and Shiva Linga kept inside Prakaseshwor temple and Nava Durga temple have also gone missing after the 2015 earthquake.

Shiva Linga kept in Agnihotrishala has also gone missing after Agnihotrishala was demolished to build Kriyaputri Bhawan. “After locals’ protest, construction of the building was stopped,” said Kedar Bhandari, main priest of the temple and president of Pashupatinath Sewak Samiti, Bhandari Sangh.

An inside view of Garuda temple without Shiva linga. Photo: THT

“Shiva Linga with four faces inside Garud Narayan temple has also gone missing,” said Bhandari. “We have complained about missing idols to authorities concerned, but in vain,” said Acharya.

Officials at Pashupati Area development Trust and Department of Archeology, however, claimed that there was no record of any idol missing from the temple. There are 598 archeological items inside the Pashupatinath temple area, as listed by the DoA. So far PADT has recorded disappearance of Sankhar Narayan’s idol only.

“There is no written complaint about stealing of idols so far. Thus, we cannot go for any action without written complaint,” said Shyam Sundar Rajbansi, chief archeological officer at DoA.