Hundreds of Buddhists in Nepal’s capital are holding demonstrations near the government’s main office to protest authorities stopping them from building a shrine in the jungles of western part of the Himalayan nation.

The protesters, some of them monks, blocked streets around the central secretariat during rush hour, preventing government workers from reaching their offices.

Traffic was stopped for hours in the centre of Kathmandu. Police in riot gear kept a close watch but did not stop the rally. There were no reports of any clashes.

The Buddhists were protesting local authorities stopping the building of the shrine in the protected jungle of Surkhet because they did not have permission to do so.

Buddhists make up about 10 per cent of the population in Nepal, which is predominantly Hindu.