Indian priests at Pashupatinath to get fixed pay

Last Updated: Monday, April 9, 2012 - 19:06

Kathmandu: For the first time, Indian priests
at Nepal`s world famous Pashupatinath temple will get a fixed
salary instead of a share from the offerings as part of an
effort by the government to bring transparency in the
management of the shrine.

The government recently passed a law to make the
management of the temple more transparent, including the
offerings and donations by the devotees.

The Indian priests and their Nepali aides for the first
time yesterday received their monthly salary from the
Pashupati Area Development Trust, the body which manages the
affairs of the temple.

The chief priest from Karnataka received a monthly salary
and allowances amounting to Indian Rs 156,250 and four other
priests received Indian Rs 125,000 each from the PADT,
according to PADT chief Sushil Nahata.

Earlier, the priests used to get a share from the cash
offerings received from the devotees.

Located on the banks of the Bagmati river, the 5th
century temple is regarded as the most sacred temple of Shiva
(Pashupati) and the oldest Hindu shrine in Nepal. Thousands of
people from India and Nepal worship at the temple during
Mahashivaratri festival.

A CCTV is also being installed at the temple very soon
for security purpose, according to the authorities.

The tempel had been the centre of a row when the
Prachanda-led Maoist coalition government in 2008 sacked the
chief priest and other Brahmins from South India, and
appointed Nepalese priests to replace them.

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.

However, the court had given a green signal to the
government`s move to make the functioning, including the
offerings and incomes at the shrine, more transparent.

PTI



First Published: Monday, April 9, 2012 - 19:06

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