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Pashupatinath Temple

Holidays in Nepal

Holidays to Nepal


Dedicated to lord shiva, Pashupatinath temple of Nepal is the major holy shrine of Hindus. It boasts around 492 temples, 15 Shivalayas, and 12 Phallic shrines (Jyotirlingas) in its premises. It is also the largest temple complex in Nepal. Believed to be one of the four major religious sites in Asia, Pashupatinath temple is revered for its huge religious importance. The temple complex also includes Deupatan, Jaya Bageswari, Gauri ghat, Kutumbahal, Gaushala, Pingalasthan and Sesmantak forest. 

Pashupatinath temple is also the largest and oldest shiva temple in the world. It draws thousands of visitors every year from all over the world. The unique fusion of religion, culture and spiritual attributes at Pashupatinath temple are mind-blowing. UNESCO has also enlisted Pashupatinath as the world heritage site which carries the greatest religious significance. 

Some legends state that Pashupatinath temple is the place where the Shiva’s consort, Sati Devi, head fell apart. Also, some people also believe that Shiva stayed here in the form of deer with Parvati. Impressed by the beauty of the forest around Pashupatinath temple, Shiva and Parvati decided to stay here in the form of deer. As his existence here was in the form of an animal, the devotees worship the temple in the name of Pashupatinath. The main temple of Pashupatinath consists of Pagoda style. The shrine in this temple comprises four faces. Which also stands as the Chaturmukhi lingam. 

History of Pashupatinath Temple

There are so many stories stating the existence of Pashupatinath temple at the current place. According to one particular story, a cow used to come here and flow her milk at the same place every day. Cowherd was surprised by the strange behaviour of the cow. One day, he followed the cow and saw a cow was giving her milk strangely in the field. This process continued for a few days. He then called his other gwala friends and they decided to dig the ground. While digging, they saw a jyotirlinga under the field. Then, they made a small temple and worshiped it by the name of Pashupatinath. During the 5th century, a licchavi king Supuspadeva made the temple of Pashupatinath. 

Only Hindus can enter the temple compartment. The priests of the temple are ‘Bhattas’ From South India. The tradition of puja by priests from south India is believed to have begun by the time when Guru Sankharaacharya visited this temple in Kathmandu. Now, thousands of people visit the Pashupatinath temple. 

Some holy books also state the significance of the Pashupatinath temple. According to the Himbhagwatkhanda and Nepal mahatmya, once Lord Shiva escaped from Varanasi and came to a place and stayed in the form of a Gazelle in Mrigasthali, the beautiful forest just beside the Pashupatinath temple. Gods tried to discover him and found him in the banks of Bagmati river, he jumped across the Bagmati river to the opposite bank. While jumping, his horns broke into four segmentations. Legend has it that the four parts of those horns are the chaturmukha linga. And since then, the devotees worship the manifestation of Shiva as Pashupatinath. The four faces of Chaturmukha linga are Tatpurusha (east face), Aghora (south face), Sadyojata (west face) and Vamadeva (north face) respectively. Ishan stands for the upper part of Chaturlingam.

Importance of Pashupatinath Temple

Pashupatinath is often regarded as the place of greatest pilgrimage. The hundreds of Temples on the premises of Pashupatinath have their own interesting stories. The unique blend of culture and religion at Pashupatinath temple is something you get to see every time. The cremation activities, last rites in Pashupatinath, and the pilgrimage activities in the temple provokes the importance of this Shiva temple. The huge religious merits, it carries, it is significantly popular among Hindu followers. 

Jyotirlingas are the major part of this greatest pilgrimage site. The 12 Jyotirlingas are believed to have existed during the cosmic times and one of them is considered to be at Pashupatinath temple. The belief behind the Jyotirlingas states that once Shiva appeared piercing the world. The places where the light of Shiva reached, indicates the Jyotirlingas. Many people visit this temple to get salvation from all the sins they did in their life. The prevalent belief is that visiting the temple can liberate people from all the bad deeds. 

Open Cremation in Pashupatinath Temple

The cremation site beside the temple is another major attribute here. The last rites of Hindus happen on the raised stone in the banks of the Bagmati river. At the current time, Bagmati river is however clogged and filled with pollutants. But it is the highly sacred river of Nepal. In Kathmandu valley, the banks of Bagmati river is the main open-air cremation site. According to the level and delegations, the cremation stones are differentiated in the Pashupatinath temple. The royal family members, a higher official of the government of Nepal are only cremated in front of the temple. The funerals of general Nepalese take place in the ghats. 

The Hindu beliefs state death as a process of rebirth. Apparently, one can get to see the ultimate reality of life at the Pashupatinath temple. It is, however, an experience to see. It depicts the value of life and the cultural and traditional values of Hindus. It’s your choice if you want to see the open cremation process or not. For some people, it might be hard to witness the cremation process. Also, visitors should respect the values followed by the people here. 

Daily Rituals at Pashupatinath Temple

Pashupatinath is the living pilgrimage site of Nepal. It offers assorted experiences. In the evening, as part of the spiritual manifestations, the aarti began. Many people attend the aarti program here. The daily rituals that happen around the temple are as follows: 

  • 04:00 am: West gate opens for visitors.

  • 08:30 am: Pujaris arrive and the bath and cleaning process of god begins. 

  • 09:30 am: Offering of Baal Bhog or breakfast to the Lord.

  • 10:00 am: Then people who want to do Puja can join. The Puja continues till 1:45 pm in the afternoon.

  • 01:50 pm:  Offering of lunch to the lord in the main Pashupati Temple.

  • 02:00 pm: Morning prayers end.

  • 05:15 pm: The evening Aarati at the main Pashupati Temple begins.

  • 06:00 pm onward: Spiritual aarti began. Many people including youngsters attend this event.

  • 07:00 pm: Doors close.

The Type of puja and rate according to the puja at Pashupatinath temple is given below.

Type of Puja Rate (INR)
Panchamrit Puja INR 1313
Panchamrit puja with Balbhog  INR 1938
Panchamrit Puja with Rudrabhisek and Balbhog INR 4688
Panchamrit Puja with Laghurudrabhisek and Purabhog INR 9438
Panchamrit Puja with Rudrabhisek, Purabhog, & one hundred twenty five thousand deep aarti  INR 21,875
Panchamrit Puja with Laghu Rudrabhisek, Purabhog, Hawan & one hundred twenty five thousand deep aarti  INR 40,625
Daily Nitya Puja with Purabhog, participating with devotees  INR 1,06,875
Ekdiwasiya Maharudri INR 2,00,625
Ekadas Diwasiya Mayarudri INR 5,00,001
Ekadas diwasiya Atirudri INR 15,62,500

Moreover, Pashupatinath is a beautiful temple with lots of amazing attributes. Get to see the activities it has to show and attend the programs at Pashupatinath, everything is amazing here. The festivals, cultural shows and shiva dances during the evening time are equally mesmerizing. It is interesting that many youths attend the evening aarti at Pashupatinath temple. Which is one of the the must experience Kathmandu sightseeing attractions. The spiritual ambience of Pashupatinath itself gives the mind-blowing experience.

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