Coming Soon to a Browser Near You:
Live Street Video : : 10 cameras : : 24 hours

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Meeting Decides NOT to Move Janabahaa Dyo Out During Renovation

After much powwowing, it has been decided, at least for now, that he will stay put in his seat, right where he is now. The topic of hot, and so far healthy, debate that has been going on for some time is regarding the best way to deal with the main image of Aryavalokiteshor (or Janabahaa Dyo) during the imminent renovation of the central chamber where it resides (earlier blog entry on this topic can be found at

During a meeting held on September 4 at Janabahaa, experts put forth their arguments and opinions for and against moving the image out of the inner sanctum while the wooden beams directly above it are replaced. Many theories were analyzed, especially in light of the meticulous measurements of the physical structure taken recently and other important details that came to light while exploring the internal architecture of the temple.

Experts invited to this meeting included, among others, Purusottam Dangol, who had written a book entitled “Elements of Nepalese Temple Architecture” published by Adroit Publishers in 2007 (ISBN 81-87392-77-0) and Pancha Ratna Bajracharya (aka Indra Guruju) of Bhinchhe Bahal, Lalitpur who had undertaken much of the woodwork at the Great Lotus Stupa built by the Tara Foundation of Germany in Lumbini.

It was finally agreed at this meeting that it was safe enough to put up a strong plank on top of the image of Janabahaa Dyo to protect it from falling debris while wooden beams on the ceiling directly overhead are pulled out one by one and new ones inserted in their place. Now, the question is, though it would be easy enough to take out the old beams, what kind of challenges would come up while sliding in new ones in their place, given the limited working space available? The inner chamber is small enough (9 ft. square) as it is, and the image of Janabahaa Dyo lying therein needs to be protected from any physical damage during the process.

And the fact remains that no one but designated caretaker priests (dyo pala gurujus) can co inside the inner chamber to carry out the carpentry and masonry works – whether or not they have the skill (see earlier blog entry about this at

Nevertheless, the decision not to move the deity out of its abode does save us all from a lot of hassles, as moving it out entails following very stringent religious rites and carrying out elaborate (read resource-hungry) ritual ceremonies. Photos by Alok Tuladhar.