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Odishatv Bureau

Puri: Nepal may no longer be able to supply deer musk or Kasturi to the Lord Jagannath Temple in Puri, as it is a banned item internationally, said Nepal King Gyanendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev on Friday.

"Musk is a prohibited item worldwide, so I do not think that Nepal can provide it at this moment," said the king while attending the silver jubilee of ‘Pattabhisheka’ of Shankaracharya Swami Nischalananda Saraswati in Puri.

As per the temple rituals, five grams of musk and sandalwood paste are applied to idols of the deities, at least on three occasions every year, that helps protect them from insects and stops their decay.

The musk can only be collected from the naval of a dead male deer (stag) belonging to the Moschidae family, an endangered species available only in the Himalayan region. The royal family of Nepal, which enjoys special ‘Seva’ and rituals in the 12th century shrine was providing it till 2002. After that the temple administration had to depend on other sources.

Earlier on April 21, 2017, the temple administration had apprised Nepal president Bidya Devi Bhandari about the acute shortage of musk, during her visit to the shrine. She had assured to take up the issue with her government.

Meanwhile, the Nepal king is scheduled to visit the Puri Srimandir on February 11 and pay obeisance to the presiding deities.

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