Crackdown on courting couples at Nepal`s Pashupatinath temple
Alarmed at "amorous behaviour" in the Pashupatinath temple precincts, authorities managing the world famous shrine in the Nepalese capital have decided to penalise the "love birds" through fines up to Rs 500.
Kathmandu: Alarmed at "amorous behaviour" in
the Pashupatinath temple precincts, authorities managing the
world famous shrine in the Nepalese capital have decided to
penalise the "love birds" through fines up to Rs 500.
"We are banning amorous behaviour by couples in the
holy Pashupatinath temple area," said Sushil K Nahata, chief
of the Pashupati Area Development Trust (PADT) that manages
the affairs of the temple.
"We are introducing a new regulation in a week to
penalise love birds who indulged in unruly activities in this
holy place," he said.
Located on the banks of the Bagmati River, Pashupatinath
is regarded as the most sacred temple of Shiva and the oldest
Hindu shrine in Nepal. It is also listed under the UNESCO
World Cultural Heritage Site list.
"This is not a botanical garden or public park where
love birds are allowed to do whatever they like," he said.
Nahata said the courting couples are seen in and around
temple area, including the Shlesmantak forest, "kissing,
hugging and embracing".
"Now we are introducing Rs 200 to Rs 500 fine on
those violating the rules in Pashupati," he said.
He said with the introduction of new rules, drug users
and hooligans will also be discouraged in the area.
Earlier this month, the government set up a top panel to
make the functioning of Pashupatinath Temple more transparent,
following a Supreme Court directive to streamline the
management of the Hindu shrine.
The temple had been at the centre of a row when
Prachanda-led Maoist coalition government in 2008 sacked the
chief priest and other Brahmins from South India, and
appointed Nepalese priests to replace them.
It had triggered widespread protests across the
country as it was a break from centuries-old tradition where
Brahmins from South India have led the worship at one of the
holiest Hindu shrines.
Later, Nepal`s Supreme Court had stayed the government
regulation aimed at ending the 300-year old monopoly of Indian
priests at the famed Pashupatinath.