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June 2019
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Nepal''s Pashupatinath temple reveals assets for first time
 
Kathmandu: Nepal''s iconic Pashupatinath temple owns 9.276 kg gold, 316 kg silver and Rs 120 crore cash, according to a report made public for the first time by a committee formed to study the assets of the country''s most revered and the richest Hindu shrine. According to a probe panel formed by Pashupati Area Development Trust to inquire the income of the temple, the revenue in gold and silver cover the period of 56 years from 1962 to 2018. “This is the first time we are making public the report on the assets of Pashupati Area Development Trust,” the trust''s Executive Director Ramesh Upreti was quoted as saying by the Kathmandu Post.

The sacred Hindu temple dedicated to Pashupatinath (Lord Shiva), has Rs 1.2 billion cash (Rs 120 crore) in different banks, 9.276 kg gold, 316.58 kg silver and 3,667 ropanis (186 hectares) of land, the report said. The actual value of the treasures stored in the main temple of Pashupatinath, however, is not included in the report as the Supreme Court had on December 24, 2009, asked authorities not to open its coffers. The 5th century Pashupatinath Temple is the oldest Hindu temple in Kathmandu dating back to 400 AD. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and several of his Cabinet colleagues visited the temple during their visit to Nepal.

The 11-member committee was formed by the government on October 23, 2017 under Milan Kumar Thapa. "The trust has land in many places. But due to inadequate evidence, we have not been able to bring them under the trust,” said Thapa, expressing concern that land plots belonging to the trust in various places have been encroached upon. Of the total registered land, the trust has leased 1,161 ropanis (59 hectares) to Tribhuvan International Airport and a golf course for 99 years at an annual rent of Rs 5 million a year. Similarly, the trust has leased 17 ropanis of land to five-star hotel Hyatt Regency in Bouddha.

In Gothathar, the trust has 534 ropanis (27 hectares) of land which the government had registered under it''s name in 1998. It had acquired 1,505 ropanis (76.5 hecatres) of land near the temple between 2002 and 2013. Padip Dhakal, member secretary at the trust, said Wednesday announcement is the first step towards making public the temple''s assets. “Since Pashupatinath is a public property, many people are obviously curious to learn about the way the trust has been managing its wealth,” said Dhakal.


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