Kathmandu: The centuries old most sacred Hindu temple Pashupatinath is facing an embarrassing problem - a sudden rise in the population of mice and cockroaches which has threatened its main structures.
The mice menace is so serious that it has affected the daily prayers and scared the Bhandaris (storekeepers). Bhandaris yesterday lodged a formal complaint with the Powerful Independent Committee for Study of the Management of Pashupati (PICSMP), a committee formed to look into temple problems.
In their 20-point complaint letter the Bhandaris have said the temple may collapse any time if it is not renovated immediately, one of the members of the committee, Shiva Sharan Rajbhandari, said.
There are thousands of mice running inside the temple and the pillars of the temple covered with gold palate and copper have become hollow from inside, which might collapse any time, Bhandari said.
There is a need to immediately renovate the temple which has not been renovated for more than a century, he said. The temple, which is listed in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites, was built in 516 BS (1459 AD) by Lichhavi King Mandev and has been renovated only twice so far.
The main temple was first renovated by the Malla King Bhupatindra Malla in 1700 BS (1643 AD) and later by the hereditary prime minister Chandra Shumsher Janga Bahadur Rana some one hundred years ago, according to the 20-point letter submitted by the Bhandaris.
The Bhandaris also suspect that the original wooden support of the temple hidden beneath the silver-coated walls may have already collapsed.
The letter said that the main golden pinnacle of the temple is also in a dilapidated condition. It has bent a little due to mischief creating monkeys around, it said.
Similarly, the traditional window of the main temple is on the verge of collapse. If that happens, the temple may witness a serious accident, Bhandaris said.
Submitting the demands they have asked the authorities to set up a technical committee to study the damages being made by the insects and mice to the temple and to renovate and take necessary steps as per the report, he said.
"We have tried to draw the attention of the Pashupati Area Development Trust (PADT), that is entrusted to manage the affairs of the temple, but the temple authorities turned deaf ear towards our concerns," Bhandari pointed out.
However, PADT officials have denied the allegation saying that they have not neglected the issue.
A study is under way and the process of renovation will be taken after the committee submits its report, officials said.