Chhayanath Temple renovated after 260 yearsMunicipality has prioritised conservation and renovation of various heritage sites, mayor says.
Raj Bahadur Shahi
Chhayanath temple, a famous Hindu shrine at Chhayanathrara Municipality-2 of Mugu district, has been renovated after nearly 260 years of its construction.
The stone-mud temple, which had been built circa 1762, was in a dilapidated condition due to the lack of regular maintenance and renovation. The temple has been renovated with artistic stone and wood crafts with an alloy of copper and bronze.
The temple is situated at Chaingaun which is around 15 minutes walk from Gamgadhi, the district headquarters of Mugu, in Karnali Province.
“The famed Hindu temple was left in dire straits. It was quite difficult for us to protect the idols and other valuables of the temple. The renovation has resolved the security concerns and the temple has a facelift now,” said Ashwini Kumar Hamal, the priest of the shrine.
According to him, thousands of devotees from various places of Mugu and neighbouring Kalikot, Humla, Jumla and Dolpa, among other districts, visit the temple to offer prayers.
Chhayanathrara Municipality took initiatives for the temple’s renovation. The local unit allocated a total of Rs5 million for renovation that began a year ago and completed last month.
“The municipality has prioritised conservation and renovation of various heritage sites. The renovation of Chhayanath Temple will also be helpful to promote tourism in the area,” said Mayor Hari Jung Shahi.
“It is expected that the tourists who visit Rara, the country’s biggest lake, will also come to visit Chhayanath Temple after its renovation. We are planning to encourage the Rara’s visitors to go to other religious and other tourist destinations in the district by making a tourism master plan,” he added.
The main Chhayanath Dham lies near Dolphu Himal of Mugumkarmarong Rural Municipality. The idols and other belongings of the shrine are kept at Chaingaun-based Chhayanath Temple as Chhayanath Dham lies in the remote area which is around 4,500 metres above sea level.
According to priest Hamal, the idols and other belongings are taken to Dolphu-based Chhayanath Dham from Chaingaun every Janaipurnima and perform a weeklong puja there.
The people of Chaingaun are happy with the renovation of Chhayanath Temple. “The temple was in a sorry state for years. We requested the authorities concerned time and again for its renovation, to no avail. The temple has been renovated finally due to the initiatives of the municipality,” said Ain Bahadur Hamal, a local of Chaingaun.
“We hope the renovated temple will lure more devotees and tourists,” he added.