Itahari/ Baraha Kshetra, a place for pilgrimage for the Hindus, remains at the risk of rapid erosion due to the overflowing of the Saptakoshi River every monsoon since long.
The locals have been drawing the attention of the state or the government towards this and the need to chalk out long-term plan for the prevention and protection of the religious heritages like temples and shrines located in the place.
This topic took the limelight at an interaction held at Inaruwa, the headquarters of Sunsari district today. Baraha Kshetra is one of the four major pilgrimage sites of the Hindus.
It is stated that there is high risk of erosion by the Saptakoshi River south of the confluence of the Kokakhola rivulet and the Sapta Koshi river. A temple located right south of the confluence is highly at risk, according to the temple priest, Yogesh Bhandari.
The temple is in such precarious condition that it might get washed away by flooding in the river any time, Bhandari added.
The river has formed a loop resulting in a large lake at the place due to erosion during the rainy season every year.
The Koka rivulet flowing down from the north towards the right side of the confluence and the Koshi River flowing from north-west direction are contributing in their own way in erosion in the Baraha Kshetra.
Bhandari stated that there was also risk of landslides falling down from the hillside above the Baraha Kshetra temple as the hill has been weakened by the April 25, 2015 ‘Gorkha Earthquake’.
Most participants of the interaction pointed out the urgent need for the government and other stakeholders in the district for adopting flood and landslide prevention and control measures to save this holy place.
The interaction was organised by the Greater Baraha Kshetra Development Committee to discuss on the future plan of the religious area.
Committee coordinator Govinda Karki said that the government needed to pay attention to this problem as the important religious heritage sites and even the human settlements nearby were at high risk from floods and landslide.