Nepal’s deposed king Gyanendra for the first time took a holy dip in the Triveni river, breaking a centuries-old taboo by taking part in a religious function as a commoner in an area forbidden for the family. Nearly two years after he became a commoner, Gyanendra yesterday took part in the ongoing Makar Mela in Panauti area which till now was considered out of bounds for the former royal family. Amid tight security, Gyanendra visited Panauti in Kavre district, 32 km south-east of the capital, to participate in the popular religious mela with his former subjects that takes place once every 12 years.
As per traditional belief, Panauti was a forbidden area for the Shah kings and considered to bring misfortunes for the royal family. Gyanendra’s ancestor Prithvi Narayan Shah had annexed Panauti in the 18th century.
The former monarch took a holy dip in the Triveni Kunda a confluence of three rivers, visited temples of Indreshwor Mahadev, Basukinath, Brahyayani, Mukteshwor and donated NRs. 2 lakhs for charitable purpose. Gyanendra was welcomed by traditional Panchakanya upon arrival at the temple site. He also took blessings during the ‘Mahayagya’ function.
It was the first public appearance of the ex-monarch after returning from India last month.