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Jaya Bachchan, Abhishek, Ambanis visit Pashupatinath temple

By Sudeshna Sarkar, IANS

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Bollywood actress Jaya Bachchan, her son Abhishek and Reliance Industries managing director Anil Ambani jetted into Nepal to attend the prayer ceremony at the Pashupatinath temple here, considered one of the holiest Hindu pilgrimage sites.

The trio, who arrived in Ambani's private jet, attended the evening prayer ceremony or 'aarti' before the deity Saturday.

They are expected to leave Nepal Sunday after another visit to the temple.

Jaya Bachchan and Ambani were recently elected to the Rajya Sabha or upper house of the Indian parliament.

The entourage also includes Ambani's wife Tina, Adi Godrej, who heads the Godrej Group, his wife Parameshwar and Vindi Banga of Hindustan Lever, whose joint venture in Nepal is becoming a major promoter of glamorous events.

Nepal's shrines hold a special fascination for Ambani, who was earlier scheduled to visit Muktinath temple, revered by Hindus and Buddhists alike.

However, bad weather in the remote mountainous area where the temple is located made him put off the visit.

This is the second time in as many weeks that the Pashupatinath temple has been thronged by Indian celebrities.

Last week, Brajesh Pratap Singh, a leader of India's Samajwadi Party, had run into problems while on his way to the temple.

Singh and five others from Uttar Pradesh, including two uniformed policemen, had come to Nepal to visit the temple. However, they were arrested at Thankot border check post after the policemen were found to be carrying a sub-machinegun, a sten gun and a pistol with 30 rounds of ammunition.

They spent a night behind bars before they were freed following the intervention of the Indian embassy.


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