The Kaligandaki River, which originates from Damodar Kunda in Mustang district, and flows through Myagdi’s religious destination Galeshwor, is mostly known for the availability of ‘Shaligram Shila’.
Among many types of stones found on the banks of the Kaligandaki River, Shilas are stones with special properties. And Shaligram Shila, a particular variety of Shila which is hard to find, is believed to be the representation of God Vishnu by Hindus.
A team of experts has been studying the Shilas for the possibility of crafting a statue of Lord Ram in Ayodhya of India. The team was deployed under Gandaki Province government.
“Shilas are found in the three-kilometre section of the river from the south of Beni to Galeshwor. A study is being performed with a plan to send Shilas to Ayodhya via Janakpurdham,” said Surat KC, Mayor of Beni Municipality.
The team has already arrived on the bank of the Kaligandaki River in Beni area to identify and study the Shilas.
“Study has been performed in two Shilas, each of 7 feet in height, 5 feet in length and 3.5 feet in width. If Shilas of our river are taken to Ayodhya, it would promote our place as well,” said Mayor KC.
The office of Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra has sent a letter to the Janaki Temple on November 5, 2022 asking it to send the Shilas to Ayodhya.
A meeting of the Council of Ministers held on December 18, 2022, had decided to provide two pieces of Shila from the Kaligandaki River area to the Janaki Temple in Janakpurdham.
After the decision, process to study the stones and ways to transport them have been started, informed Mayor KC.
The Kaligandaki River has religious importance, and Hindu texts show that sages, including Pulaha, Kapila, and Jadbharat, attained Siddhi (completeness) by meditating along the bank of the river’s Beni-Galeshwor section.
“The Kaligandaki is a holy river and it has made Shilas along its bank purer every day. The two pieces of Shila will be transported to Janakpurdham first,” said Kulraj Chalise, a member of the Shila Study, Excavation and Relocation Campaign and a scholar of the Krishnagandaki River.
“The Shilas will be used to construct the statue of Lord Ram in Ayodhya. It is expected to further strengthen the relationship between Ayodhya, Janakpur and Muktinath culturally and religiously,” said Chalise.
He also informed that Guru Rajendra Singh Pankaj has arrived in Pokhara from Ayodhya to receive the Shilas. “Since they are the gift of Nepal, it is our responsibility to transport the Shilas to Ayodhya. The provincial government will be looking after it,” added Chalise.
Mayor KC informed that the municipality would provide necessary assistance once the study team decides which Shilas they want to take.
Source: The Rising Nepal