Govinda all set to get Pashupatinath's blessings

Kathmandu, Jan 8 (IANS) While the Shahenshah of Bollywood, Amitabh Bachchan, decided to drop his plans to seek the blessing of Lord Pashupatinath due to the mounting dispute over the hallowed shrine under Nepal's Maoist government, the prince of India's tinsel town Govinda is all set to pray at the deity's feet.

The actor and dancer par excellence, who hit the headlines this month over his role in Bollywood director Jagmohan Mundra's "Naughty at 40", has reportedly checked into an upmarket hotel in Kathmandu.

"The star is in Kathmandu to offer his worship at Pashupatinath," said Rishi Dhamala, whose media organisation Reporters' Club called an impromptu press conference with the star.

Unlike Bachchan, Govinda would have better luck with his plan as the row over the 17th century temple revered by Hindus all over the world ended late Wednesday after Maoist Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda pledged in parliament to annul all controversial decisions taken by the trust that administers the shrine.

Chi Chi, as Govinda is known among his friends, has close ties with Nepal, where his relatives and friends live.

Six years ago, when the Maoist insurgents called a truce with the Nepal government, Govinda came to Nepal with former Miss World Priyanka Chopa to shoot dance sequences for a Hindi film, "Ek hasina, ek diwana".

This week, another Bollywood great and former Indian member of parliament Shabana Azmi also kept her date with Nepal.

The star, who said she had first come to Nepal in 1974 to shoot a romantic film with Dev Anand "Ish Ishq Ishq", came on a three-day visit Monday as the SAARC goodwill ambassador for uniting against HIV/AIDS and TB.

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