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Gyanendra seeks blessings of goddess

world Updated: May 13, 2008 01:49 IST
Anirban Roy

Bracing up to live the life of a common man, Nepal's soon-to-be-dethroned monarch King Gyanendra on Monday sought blessings of Goddess Kali, the deity of destruction.

In the morning, King Gyanendra and Queen Komal reached Dakshinkali Temple in the south-west of the capital and performed an hour-long puja.

Though the officials of the King Gyanendra's secretariat were tight-lipped about the visit, priests at the temple claimed that the couple performed puja for the Panchabaliritual, which takes place on Shukla Astami of Baisakh month.

More than two dozen security personnel in plain clothes were deployed in the temple premises for the security of the couple. The first sitting of the Constituent Assembly (CA), likely to be held before May 28, will strip Gyanendra of his royal status and declare Nepal a democratic republic.

"What else the King can do now? He has no one to support him and save the dynasty from becoming a history," said Rabindra Sharma, a devotee at Dakshinkali temple said. "This is the end of a feudal dynasty in the world," he added.

Gyanendra's last visit to a shrine in Kathmandu was to the Pashupatinath temple during the Sivaratri, when the government had barred him from distributing alms to saints. Traditionally, the royal couple visits the Dakshinkali temple during Diwali. The ritual has been taking place since the era of first King of Shah dynasty, Prithvi Narayan Shah.