Nepal’s last king Gyanendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev is scheduled to visit Odisha for six days from February 7, official sources here said. During his six-day visit the king will offer special puja at the 12th century Shree Jagannath Temple at Puri and visit Sakhigopal Temple, the sources said. He has a special seva and rituals in the three important shrines of Shree Jagannath Temple at Puri, Lingaraj Temple at Bhubaneswar and Sakhigopal Temple. He has the special privilege of performing ‘aarati’ for Lord Jagannath atop the ‘Ratna Singhasan’ (Podium) of the Srimandir (Puri temple), the sources said. He traditionally offers “kasturi” (musk) for the deity’s rituals.
There are deep spiritual ties between Odisha and Nepal. Adi Shankaracharya had established the rituals and practices in both Jagannath and Pashupatinath temples and Nepal, which comes under the spiritual jurisdiction of the Puri Shankaracharya’s Govardhan Math. After his arrival in Odisha, the Nepal king will inaugurate the Mission Cow Goshala at Rathipur near Jatni and Govandana, a unique ritual of offering homage to cows. Later, the king will attend a public reception.
On February 8 morning, the king will offer prayers at the Lingaraj Temple in Bhubaneswar and visit Sakhigopal Temple the same afternoon, they said. On February 9 and 10, the king will attend a program commemorating the silver jubilee of the pattabhisheka of Jagadguru Shankaracharya of Puri at the invitation of the Govardhan Math of Puri, the sources added. Gyanendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev is the last king of Nepal who ruled the Himalayan kingdom from 2001 to 2008 when the Nepalese Constituent Assembly declared the country a republic and abolished monarchy.