President Pranab Mukherjee on Thursday morning performed a special ‘puja’ in Pashupati Nath Temple, the revered Hindu shrine located on the bank of the Bagmati river. According to the Pashupati Nath Area Development Trust (PADT), President Mukherjee lit one lakh ‘batti’ (wicks) and sprinkled ‘panchamrita’ — mixture of five ingredients, including milk, curd, honey, sugar and ghee.
As per the set tradition, 108 ‘bautk’ (Hindu boys) welcomed Mukherjee at the temple premises by chanting mantras and played the ‘thime’ and ‘panchai baja’ — traditional Nepali and Newari musical instrtuments.
Huge security presence was seen in Pashupati Nath temple area which is considered as major pilgrimage destination for Hindus.
Mukherjee reached Kathmandu on Wednesday marking the first-ever visit by an Indian President in 18 years.
Later in the day, the Kathmandu University will confer D Litt on Mukherjee, who will become the third person to be given this honorary degree, besides Karan Singh (India) and Satya Mohan Joshi (Nepal).
After the function, Mukherjee will be feted with a civic reception in the capital city organised by Kathmandu Metropolitan City.
Then he will address a concluding function on Nepal-India Dialogue jointly organised by India Foundation and Nepal Policy Research Organisation where diplomats and experts from both the countries will suggest a way out for consolidating bilateral ties.
After the function, the President will interact with leaders from various political parties, including the agitating Madheshis.
After his meeting, President Mukherjee will attend a banquet hosted by Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal.