Why last king of Nepal Gyanendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev will attend ‘Gaurakhsha’ event in India

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New Delhi | Published: February 6, 2018 5:43:41 PM

Nepal's last king Gyanendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev is scheduled to visit Odisha for six days from February 7. During his six-day visit Gyanendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev will offer special puja at the 12th century Shree Jagannath Temple at Puri and visit Sakhigopal Temple.

Last King of Nepal Gyanendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev is scheduled to visit Odisha on February 7Last King of Nepal Gyanendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev is scheduled to visit Odisha on February 7

Gyanendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev, the last monarch of Nepal will be on a six-day visit to India to extend his support to a ‘Gauraksha’ programme. He is expected to land in Odisha on February 7 where he will participate in an event dedicated to saving India’s indigenous cows. Shah, who stepped down in 2008, will attend the International Gau Sambardhana Mahotsav and a ceremony to lay the foundation stone for the Gomata Mandir at Rathipur near Jatani on Wednesday. The Gomata Mandir, which is being built at Rathipur, about 30 km south of Bhubaneswar, will be completed by early 2020, while a ‘goshala’ spread over 3.5 acres has already started functioning near Rathipur. He will inaugurate the ‘Mission Wow Cow Goshala’ at the event. The organisers have invited Shah as the chief guest for the event, describing him as a “king”.

The king is scheduled to visit Sri Jagannath temple in Puri, Lingaraj temple in Bhubaneswar and Sakhigopal temple in Puri district apart from attending some other programmes during his six-day long tour in the state. In an official statement, Puri Govardhan Peeth said, “The last Hindu monarch of the world will also attend a program commemorating the silver jubilee of ‘Pattabhisheka’ of Shankaracharya on February 9 and 10.” The organisers said Shah will have the special privilege of performing ‘aarati’ at Jagannath temple on top of the Ratna Singhasan, an honour not accorded to anyone else.

Odisha and Nepal share a very rich cultural bond because Lord Jagannath, the presiding deity of the State and unites the culture of both the places. There is an exquisite Jagannath temple outside the Nepal Palace where the royal family worships the Lord of the Universe. Notably, in January, Shah had met Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath too. As per media reports, the meeting was regarding the reviving of Nepal as a Hindu state.

Gyanendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev is the last king of Nepal who ruled Nepal from 2001 to 2008 when the Nepalese Constituent Assembly declared it a republic and abolished the monarchy.

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