A mysterious fire broke out at Nepal's ancient Pashupatinath temple complex in Kathmandu, reducing to ashes a building and centuries-old religious manuscripts and idols.
The blaze broke out on Saturday night at a house (Agamghar) located about 100 metre south of the temple and caused heavy losses, officials of the Pashupatinath Area Development Trust said.
Though there were no casualties, documents of religious and historical importance, ancient idols and ornaments dating
back to the Malla dynasty were gutted, a media report said quoting officials.
Eyewitnesses have called the fire mysterious, The Rising Nepal reported.
According to head priest Madan Bhatta, the fire destroyed the building within minutes.
Six fire brigades with the help of the locals fought the blaze for about four hours, he said.
According to a legend, the Agamghar was built by King Jagajaya Malla of the Malla dynasty to house Sambasadashiva Bhatta who would be offering Pashupat Diksha Mantra to the Bhatta of Pashupatinath Temple.
Although all the illegally built houses in the Pashupati area were demolished last year, the Agamghar was retained because it bore the religious value and tradition.
Meanwhile, the priest blamed the fire brigade for not working promptly to extinguish the fire.