Nepal may not supply ‘Kasturi’ to Jagannath Temple: Last King

Nepal’s last King Gyanendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev has said It may not be possible for his country to supply musk (Kasturi) to the Shree Jagannath Temple in Puri due to legal hurdles.

The last King, who was attending the silver jubilee of ‘Pattabhisheka’ of Shankaracharya Swami Nischalananda Saraswati here yesterday, said Kasturi was procured from the gland of the endangered musk deer and law had prohibited the killing of the animal.

For this legal bar, Nepal may not be in a position to supply ‘Kasturi’ to the temple, he told reporters here.

As per temple rituals, musk is applied on the idols of the deities at the 12th-century shrine, at least on three occasions every year, to protect them from insects and stop their decay.

The erstwhile Royal family of Nepal, which enjoys special service and rituals in the Shree Jagannath Temple, was providing musk.

The temple, which was getting the precious ‘Kasturi’ from Nepal during the monarchy, has been facing its scarcity after its fall in 2008.

Earlier in April 2017, the temple administration had apprised Nepal President Bidya Devi Bhandari of the acute shortage of musk during her visit to the shrine. The state government had also earlier urged the External Affairs Ministry to take up the matter with Nepal, official sources said.

Bir Bikram Shah Dev is scheduled to visit Shree Jagannath Temple on February 11. He will have the special privilege of performing the ‘aarati’ of the deity atop the Ratna Singhasan of the Srimandir.

He will also be allowed to touch the idols of the deities before his departure from Odisha on February 12, officials said.

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