Nepal President Bidhya Devi Bhandari on Friday assured that she would take up the shortage of 'kasturi' (musk collected from a stag's navel) with her country's government.Kasturi, an aromatic substance, is an essential commodity used in rituals at the Puri Jagannath temple. It is used for the 'Mukh Shringar' of the presiding sibling deities during the Rath Yatra.Bhandari, who offered prayers at the temple, said she would take measures for resolving the crisis faced by the temple administration."I am so happy after the Darshan of Lord Jagannath. President Pranab Mukherjee invited me and I am so humbled by the arrangements made by the union and state governments.""I would take up the kasturi shortage issue with the Nepal government," she told the media after paying obeisance to the deities.
The 12th century shrine used to meet its requirement with donations from Nepal's kings. Nepal has been contributing the precious commodity for the services of Lord Jagannath for a long time.The Nepal Royal family used to donate 'kasturi' free of cost. However, this source dried up after the fall of the monarchy.Temple authorities prefer 'kasturi' from Nepal for its purity. Earlier, the Odisha government had urged the Centre to ensure procurement of Kasturi from Nepal.Notably, the Nepal King, other than Puri Shankaracharya and Gajapati King of Odisha, is allowed to ascend the Ratna Vedi (the altar on which Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra are placed).