Sajesh Raj Nepal

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Published On: January 30, 2019 10:00 AM NPT By: Sajesh Raj Nepal

Antique of Biratnagar: Banaskhandi Mahadev

Antique of Biratnagar: Banaskhandi Mahadev

BanaskhandiMahadev temple is located at Devakota chowk, Biratnagar-8, to eastern side of Koshi Zonal Hospital. Surrounded by the compound-wall with a big entrance gate, the entire area of the temple is 3 kattha and 1 dhur. It is a big temple with 3 storeyed building built in Pagoda style. It was built with the donation of 35 lakhs given by Nandakishor Bohara and his family.

The inner sanctum of the temple contains the ‘linga’, a natural stone right in the centre surrounded by jalhari. Two idols of Nandi are placed right behind the jalhari. Also the sitting images of Ganesh, Parwati and standing image of Hanuman are established on the side of the ‘linga’. Few years ago there was an image of Bishnu made of black stone which looked very attractive must have been stolen from here. Outside the temple, there are two images of Parwati which look a bit contemporary to the image of Parwati inside. Also a broken Shivalinga attached to a jalhari is also present outside. These outside images look as if they were abandoned. Beside these, there are few images placed in a raised small platform in front of the temple containing some small Shivalingas, face of KalBhairav, a Nandi and a sitting image of Shivaand Parwati placing Ganesh on their lap. There are also few trishulas around the temple. There is a big space left for the parikarma path which contains bells hanging on all sides. The sanctum contains 3 decorative wooden doors in the east, west, and south.

Legends have it that 3 Babas (sages) namely Banaskhandi, Auliya and Bagambar came to this area and decided to live here. Banaskhandi Baba is believed to be from Pachthar who went to Bangladesh became a follower of Udashin cult and came to Morang and started to meditate in this area.

The current priest of the temple is Binayaraj Giri. Before him his father Dharmaraj Giri and his grandfather Kesherprasad Giri were the priests. But he doubts that his descendent will carry out their ancestral work. The priest says that he gets only Rs 200 as monthly salary form Guthi Sansthan. Their family have been looking after the temple when all the babas i.e.  Auliya, Banaskhandi and Bagambarwent to Chatara, Ramdhuni and Pindeswor respectively leaving this area.

Recently a committee was formed that painted the building and paved the path from the gate to the temple with cement. The priest is responsible for cleaning and maintaining the temple in and out. A room right next to the temple is built for the priest and his family to live in.

Since the temple is centrally located, devotees come here every day. But it gets crowded in the occasion of Teej, Balachaturdashi, Shivaratri and during the Mondays on the month of Shrawon.

As the temple is around 100 years old it is the responsibility of DoA to conserve, categorize and enlist it as an archaeological site. The committee, local body and the city itself should be responsible for the cleanliness and promotion of the temple, since it is a place which has preserved our faith and tradition for a long time.

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