Human pilferage of flower decorations at Pashupatinath temple post-Shivratri leaves a bitter after-tasteThe Pashupatinath Temple Trust had given permission to two Indian citizens to decorate its premises with imported flowers, which was done at the cost of Rs20 million.
On Friday, the Pashupatinath temple was decked in flowers ahead of the Mahashivaratri festival, but the decorations didn’t last more than a day. And, no, the monkeys didn’t destroy them - it was the humans who did it all - shamelessly plucking and stealing flowers as if there would be no tomorrow. Ahead of the grand festival, the temple was done up with flowers imported from Thailand, Australia and India at a cost of Rs20 million.
On the day of Mahashivaratri, one could notice eye-pleasing varieties of flowers; carving the of Mahadeva with flowers, flower carvings of Om Namah Shivaya and other different symbols of Swastika or Trishula, but come Saturday morning, most of all those art had been destroyed and the decorative walls inside the Pasupati looked deserted. The act of stealing flowers received massive criticism in social media.
“It seems, Kathmandu is full of thieves and swindlers. Last year, people had stolen bermudagrass (dubo) and flower pots from the park in Tinkune. Now they are again stealing flowers,” tweeted Pawan from his twitter handle @p1dhami.
Clearly, this wasn’t the first instance of public theft. During Chinese President Xi Jinping’s two-day state visit to Kathmandu in October, decorative flower pots had been placed around Tinkune. They were stolen soon after the Chinese President left the country.
“Human mentality is weaker than animals, this saddened me,” Srijana Wagle commented in a facebook post, posting pictures of decorative flowers being removed and taken away from the temple.
Pradeep Dhakal, member secretary at the Pashupati Area Development Trust said two Indian citizens: Sanjeev Chhibbar and Chetan Handa, avid Shiva devotees, from Delhi, had borne all the cost of the decoration.
“They came up with the idea to decorate Pashupati. We gave them permission. This decoration would have been helpful in attracting more religious tourists to mark Visit Nepal 2020,” said Dhakal. He said the trust had spent Rs7.2 million on the overall management of the annual festival.
“This Shivaratri, there were people who spent millions to ensure free food to visitors. These two Bhaktas from India had pitched in with the cost of decorations,” said Dhakal. “We were more concerned over monkeys plucking the flower decorations. However, the decorations where the monkeys could reach remain intact, but the decorations where the humans could reach are all destroyed.”