Kasturi crisis: Nepal President Bidya Devi Bhandari assures assistance

Puri:Nepal President Bidya Devi Bhandari on Friday assured the Jagannath temple administration to take up the issue of shortage of Kasturi (musk collected from a stag’s navel), an essential commodity used in rituals at Puri Jagannath temple here, with the Nepal government.

Addressing media persons during her visit to the Puri temple, Bhandari said she would take measures for resolving the problem of Kasturi shortage faced by temple authorities.

“I am happy after taking Darshan of Lord Jagannath. President Pranab Mukherjee had invited me and I am grateful for the arrangements made by the Union and state governments and the respect I have received from general public. I would take up the Kasturi shortage issue with the Nepal government at the earliest,” Bhandari stated.

Bhandari further said Nepal has an age-old relationship with the Jagannath temple.Both India and Nepal have been sharing a cultural relation since long. “I hope both the countries continue to maintain this friendly relation in days to come,” she added.

It may be mentioned that the 12th century shrine earlier used to receive the rare and precious item from Nepal during the reign of kings. The temple authorities prefer Kasturi, used for the Mukh Shringar of the presiding sibling deities during Rath Yatra, from Nepal for its purity.

The Nepal President, who is on a two-day visit to Odisha, offered her prayers to Lord Jagannath this morning. She was greeted by servitors at the Singhadwara, the main entrance to the temple, and later escorted into the temple amid tight security.

Elaborate security arrangements were made in view of her visit. The temple administration had also clamped restrictions on the entry of other devotees into the shrine complex.  Bhandari is also scheduled to visit the Sun Temple in Konark.