2 October 2016: He lost his throne on 28 May 2008 but Gyanendra Shah got to be a royal again for approximately an hour today as he performed a religious ceremony which in the past used to be reserved for reigning monarchs of the Himalayan nation.
As he relished a familiar taste of the bygone monarchy, Shah could not help be all smiles as he waved to people milling around to have a glimpse of the former king. Reports said local police had difficulty controlling the crowd that lined with flower bouquets for the ex-king. Many chanted slogans in his favour.
The trustees of the historic Pachali Bhairav Temple, that lies less than five kilometres from the republican parliament in Kathmandu city, apparently called on Shah to offer prayer in the capacity of a king, southasia.com.au‘s Kathmandu correspondent said citing local media reports.
The long-existing tradition entails the “king” to offer a sword at the historic temple right in the heart of the capital city. No one but only a king could offer such a prayer. As a result, there was a confusion as to who would perform the “royal function” following the abolition of monarchy eight years ago.
The last time the offering of a sword took place was in 2001 when Gyanendra Shah had just become king following the bloody royal massacre in June that year.
Speaking briefly to the media after he emerged from the temple, Shah said he offered prayers for peace, stability and happiness of his country folks.
Faniraj Pathak, the former king’s press advisor, told local media that Shah would be visiting various Shaktipeethas or temples to offer prayers during the forthcoming Dashain Festival, Nepal’s most important festive season.