Rehabilitation of Mangal Bahudwar Chaitya at Swaymabhu World Heritage Site Completes

Rehabilitation of Mangal Bahudwar Chaitya at Swaymabhu World Heritage Site Completes

Aug. 22, 2018, 1:52 p.m.

A JeevNyas Puja will be organised in the morning of Thursday, 23 August 2018 to mark completion of the rehabilitation of the Mangal Bahudwar Chaitya, a 19th century stupa of unique style located at the Swayambhu World Heritage Site.

According to a press release issued by Ms Nabha Basnyat Thapa, Project Coordinator, this ceremony will include the Gajur (pinnacle) Installation Puja, the JeevNyas Puja, and the Haratimata, Swayambhu and Shantipur Chhema Pujas, which will be performed by local priests.

During the 2015 earthquake, this stupa completely collapsed and numerous sculptures and votive objects enshrined inside were exposed. UNESCO, in close collaboration with the Department of Archaeology, the Federation of Swayambhu Management and Conservation and the priest communities, Buddhacharyas, and volunteer students from the Tribhuvan University, excavated and rebuilt the stupa and safeguarded its artefacts with financial support from the Chinese Hainan Province Cihang Foundation and the Fok Ying Tung Foundation.

More than 100,000 small votive stupas (tsha-tshas) and 385 rare and valuable artefacts including coins, stone beads, bronze and copper chaityas, metal gods, gold foil with a repousse stupa, and a copper reliquary with inscriptions were discovered in the stupa during the investigations and these were systematically photographed and inventoried.

This inscription was particularly interesting as it gives information on the person, a merchant trading in Tibet and India, who ordered the establishment of the stupa. It specifies purpose, date and warning that any future rebuilding of the stupa shall be rebuild as original, if not, he will be cursed by the gods and goddesses. Therefore, during the reconstruction these artefacts were carefully replaced in their original locations within the stupa.

Photo Courtesy: Onlinekhabar/English

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