The NECC (Nepal Education and Cultural Center) conceptually came into existence in 1983, started as a pilot project in 1987 by the executives of the Association of Nepalese in America (ANA). Despite many challenges, the NECC team has worked proactively and raised substantial funds, revised the bylaws, and mobilized community resources to take the NECC to the next level. Today, the NECC is growing and receiving tremendous support from the greater Washington D.C. area.
In 1987, 5 acres of land were purchased in Solomon Island, Maryland, to address the need for a community center for the Nepali community. However, due to its impractical location, a new property was purchased in Fairfax, Virginia, in 1992. Further regulatory hurdles led to the sale of the Fairfax property and the purchase of 3.2 acres of land and a building in Lanham, Maryland, in 1996 for $205,000. However, the Lanham facility was unable to accommodate community growth, and a building permit for constructing a Mandir was not granted by the county.
In 2008, the NECC-VAC (Vitalization Action Committee) was formed and mobilized the entire community to buy 9.38 acres of property in Beallsville, Maryland, for $700,000. On June 4, 2012, the Pashupati-Buddha Mandir was moved to the Beallsville facility, which is now fully paid for. A vibrant executive committee was formed in 2014 and the NECC has been making substantial progress with huge community support.
The Pashupati-Buddha Mandir was inaugurated in Lanham, Maryland, on September 30, 2000. Since then, Hindu and Buddhist practices have been performed continuously through the Pashupati-Buddha Mandir. The Mandir was moved to the larger space in Beallsville in 2012 and now has a multi-talented priest available for all ritual needs. The NECC is planning to have a clean worship place with marble Gods/Goddesses and serve “prasad” to all visitors.
The Nepali Pathashala of Maryland, run under the NECC umbrella, was officially inaugurated on April 14, 2019, on the occasion of Nepali New Year 2076. The purpose of the Pathashala is to educate Nepali-American children to read, write, and speak in Nepali and learn the inherent meaning of Nepali culture and traditions.