February 22, 2024, Thursday
Nepal 1:37:26 pm

40 tolas of gold found in Pashupatinath temple

The Nepal Weekly
July 11, 2023

A significant cache of gold pieces, around 40 tolas, has been unearthed in the Jyasal region of the Pashupatinath Temple premises. The discovery was made on Friday morning during routine cleaning works near the recently installed Jalhari. Officials from the Pashupati Area Development Trust (PADT), responsible for the temple’s maintenance, have remained tight-lipped regarding this.

Notably, CCTV cameras were installed in the vicinity of the Jalhari, including during the weigh-in conducted by the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA). However, the circumstances surrounding the discovery of these gold pieces have raised questions, as it appears that around half a kg of gold has gone missing from the Jalhari since its installation three years ago. This revelation came up during the ongoing investigation, coinciding with the unearthing of the 40 tolas of gold on Friday morning.

According to insiders within the PADT, many smaller pieces of gold have been discovered in Jyasal. An employee of the trust revealed that when combined, these pieces could potentially exceed the estimated 40 tolas. The search for additional gold pieces is currently underway, with hopes of reaching a conclusive assessment.

PADT Spokesperson Revati Raman Adhikari said that they have not received any official information regarding the discovery of gold pieces within the Pashupatinath temple premises. Executive Director Ghanshyam Khatiwada shares a similar statement, saying that he was unaware of the situation. Earlier, it was confirmed that over half a kilogram of gold is indeed missing from the Jalhari, which was kept in the sanctum sanctorum of the Pashupatinath temple.

On the evening of June 25, a team from the CIAA arrived at the revered Pashupatinath temple to conduct an extensive weighing procedure of the Jalhari. This meticulous process continued until the morning of June 26, yielding valuable insights. Despite this, official statements regarding the weight of gold within the Jalhari have not been released by the authorities. Sources within the commission have divulged that the investigation has now entered its final phase. Notably, the authority’s team consisted of representatives from the Federation of Nepal Gold and Silver Dealers Association, the Nepal Bureau of Standards and Metrology, as well as the Department of Mines and Geology.

While the trust officials have claimed that only 188 grams of gold is missing from the Jalhari, they have been accused of using only 97 kg of gold in Jalhari and making the rest disappear. After receiving a complaint of irregularity in Jalhari, the CIAA is conducting investigation.

In regard to the installation of the gold Jalhari, which decorates the inner sanctum sanctorum of the Pashupatinath temple, a total of 103.773 kg of gold, valued at Rs 800.11 million, was procured from the Nepal Rastra Bank.

The 59th Annual Report of the Auditor General confirms that after accounting for the gold’s purity, along with the inclusion of other metals and chemicals such as 2.89 kg of copper, 1.249 kg of silver, and 12.75 grams of zinc used for the Jalhari and associated accessories, a total of 107 kg 924.75 grams of gold (including impurities) was used for the entire project.

The weight of the gold used in the Jalhari, Jaldhara, Nag, Nagmurti, and golden nails estimated to be 96 kg 822 grams, while the remaining gold, weighing 10.97 kg, was used to make the ring for the Jalhari. The value of the gold used to make the ring is Rs 78.6 million.