Friday, December 2, 2016

Currency - Nepal - 1000 Rupees- Year 2008

Item code: 76

Mount Everest at left, Swayambhu and Harati Temples in Kathmandu at center, embossed image of Indra in grey oval at lower center left, segmented foil over security strip at center right.
Elephant at center, seal of Nepal Rastra Bank at right lower center.
Nepal's National flower Rhododendron
172 x 70 mm
Dr. Yuba Raj Khatiwada

Obverse description:                                 
Swayambhu and Harati Temples

Swayambhunath is an ancient religious architecture atop a hill in the Kathmandu Valley, west of Kathmandu city. The Harati Devi Temple is dedicated to the Hindu goddess of smallpox and other epidemics. The small temple is popular both among Buddhists and Hindus. Offerings of rice, holy water and other foods left to the goddess cause fights between the monkeys, pigeons and other animals that inhabit the site. This temple is not as old as the other parts of the complex, as it was destroyed by King Rana Bahadur Shah in the 19th century, when his wife died of smallpox.

നേപ്പാളിലെ കാഠ്മണ്ഡു താഴ്വരയിലെ ഒരു കുന്നിന്മേൽ സ്ഥിതിചെയ്യുന്ന പ്രാചീന ബുദ്ധമതകേന്ദ്രമാണ് സ്വയംഭൂനാഥ്. അനവധി ചെറുക്ഷേത്രങ്ങൾ തുടങിയവ കൂടിച്ചേർന്നതാണ് സ്വയംഭൂനാഥ്. സ്വയംഭൂനാഥ ക്ഷേത്രം വാനരക്ഷേത്രം എന്നപേരിലും അറിയപ്പെടുന്നു.ക്ഷേത്രത്തിന്റെ വടക്കുപടിഞ്ഞാറൻ ഭാഗത്തായ് അതിവസിക്കുന്ന വാനരന്മാർ മൂലമാണ് ക്ഷേത്രത്തിന് ഇങ്ങനെ ഒരു പേര് ലഭിച്ചത്. വാനരരെ ഇവിടെ പവിത്രമായ ജീവിയായാണ് കണക്കാക്കുന്നത്.ബുദ്ധമതസ്തരുടെ പുണ്യതീർത്ഥാടന കേന്ദ്രമായ ഇവിടം യുനെസ്കോയുടെലോകപൈതൃക പട്ടികയിൽ ഇടം നേടിയിട്ടുണ്ട്. 

സ്വയം ആവിർഭവിച്ചത് എന്നാണ് സ്വയംഭൂ എന്ന വാക്കിനർത്ഥം.അനാദ്യന്തമായ സ്വയം അസ്‌തിത്വമുള്ള ജ്യോതിയിൽ നിന്നാണ് ഈ പേര് വന്നത്. ഈ ജ്യോതിയിലാണ് പിന്നീട് സ്വയംഭൂനാഥ സ്തൂപം പണിത്തീർത്തത് എന്നാണ് വിശ്വാസം സ്വയംഭൂപുരാണമനുസരിച്ച് ഈ താഴ്വര ഒരുകാലത്ത് അതിബൃഹത്തായ ഒരു തടാകമായിരുന്നു. നേപ്പാളിലെ വളരെ പഴക്കംചെന്ന ബുദ്ധമതകേന്ദ്രങ്ങളിൽ ഒന്നാണ് സ്വയംഭൂനാഥ്. ഗോപാലരാജവംശാവലിയിൽ പറയുന്നതനുസരിച്ച്, നേപ്പാൾ രാജാവായിരുന്ന മാനവേന്ദ്രന്റെ പ്രപിതാമഹൻ വൃഷദേവൻ 5-ആം നൂറ്റാണ്ടിൽ പണിതീർത്തതാണ് ഈ സ്ഥലം. ഈ സ്ഥലത്തുനിന്ന് ലഭിച്ചിട്ടുള്ള ശിലാലിഖിതങ്ങൾ ഇതിന് തെളിവാണ്.

Reverse description                      
Elephant image on Nepal 1‚000-rupee bank note

All Nepali bank notes in circulation contain pictures of animals. It is not known why the back side of bank notes here bear images of animals, although Nepal Rastra Bank officials say it’s because of their neutral characteristic. “If images of temples are used, they might trigger controversy because of religious connotations. That may be the reason,” a senior NRB official said on condition of anonymity. 

Whatever the reason, all pictures of animals printed on bank notes are said to be of animals found in Nepal — except for one, which has confused even wildlife experts. And that is the image of an elephant printed on the back side of the 1,000-rupee note, which, experts say, resembles the elephant found in Africa. 

This ambiguity has prompted many to suspect whether the 1,000-rupee notes have long been bearing the picture of an African elephant rather than of those roaming the country’s forests. 

No wonder, NRB, which issues bank notes, has started reviewing pictures of all animals printed on notes and is mulling their replacement with images of animals found in the country. 

Bank notes of 1,000-rupee denomination were first issued in December 1969 — although the history of bank note circulation dates back to September 1945. At that time, these 1,000-rupee notes contained the picture of a rural setting with Mount Annapurna in the backdrop. Then in December 1974, the design was reviewed and the picture of an elephant with long tusks was used. Since then, 1,000-rupee notes are being printed with the same picture of an elephant. 

The picture of the elephant used in the note, according to ‘Notes and Coins of Nepal’— a book published to mark NRB’s Golden Jubilee — is that of an ‘Asian male elephant’. But experts doubt it. 

“The picture contains features of both Asian and African elephants,” Narendra Pradhan, an elephant expert, told The Himalayan Times. 

“For instance, the head appears to be that of an Asian elephant, as it contains two humps on the top part of the skull,” he said. The top part of the head of the African elephant, on the other hand, is more round in shape. 

But the similarity ends here. 

“The appearance of the elephant in the picture, especially body size and ears, resembles those found in Africa,” Pradhan added. African elephants are bigger and have larger ears, Pradhan said. “Also, the shoulder of the African elephant rises above the head, as in the picture.” 

However, a wildlife expert working for World Wildlife Fund Nepal, said it would not be wrong ‘to call that elephant in the picture Asian’. “its ears are not as big as those of African elephants and the body resembles Asian elephants,” the source said. But she quickly added: “I don’t think it’s a real life picture. It must be artwork.” 

NRB is not aware of the source of the image. “Many images were taken a long time ago. We don’t know who took them or from where they were extracted. But they are definitely not artwork,” the NRB official said, adding, “We are planning to replace all images of animals with those found in Nepal.” 

If things go as planned, the 1,000-rupee note will soon contain a picture of twin baby elephants — along with their mother — born some time ago at Chitwan National Park, according to the NRB source. 

Courtesy RUPAK D SHARMA, The Himalayan, 2014-10-16

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