Located on the eastern outskirts of Kathmandu on both banks of holy Bagmati River, Pashupatinath Temple is one the most sacred temple of Hindus in Nepal. The temple is devoted to Lord Shiva and every year thousands of pilgrims visit this temple to worship.
Many elderly people visit here to spend the last few weeks of their lives. Later, to get cremated on the banks of the sacred river Bagmati river, which meets with another holy river Ganga. In fact, people here believe that if they die in Pashupatinath Temple, they will reborn as a human regardless of their sins. Moreover, the astrologers of the temple predict the exact death day.
This is the specialty of this temple, even every corner has the atmosphere of the end, yet one will find themselves at the most calming state of their mind in this temple.
About Pashupatinath Complex
Pashupatinath Temple is renovated by the Lichchavi King, Prachanda Dev in the 5th century after it got demolished by termites. Moreover, the existence of this temple dates back to 400 B.C. According to Nepal Mahatmya and Himvatkhanda, this temple got famous in the name of Pashupati, who is known as the deity of Pahus (animals). As the time fled by many temples were constructed here like Vaishnava temple complex built in the 14th century, Guhyeshwari Temple built in the 11th century according to the manuscript.
The main temple is situated at the center of the complex with a bunk roof, a golden spire, and four main doors, all covered with silver sheets. Located at the western bank of Bagmati, the main temple complex is known as a masterpiece of Hindu architecture.
In front of the main temple, there is a huge statue of Nandi, Shiva's bull. Only Hindus are allowed to enter the main temple. The eastern bank of Bagmati river presents captivating views of the main temple whereas western bank of the river holds Panch Dev Complex (Five Temples), which once used to be holy shrines and now serves as a shelter for poor old people.
The whole area of Pashupatinath is comprised of 264 hectares of land that includes 518 temples and monuments. The inner courtyard includes temples and shrines like Unmatta Bhairava Temple, Vasuki Nath Temple, Budhanilkantha shrine, Kirtimukha Bhairava shrine, Hanuman shrine, Surya Narayana Temple, 184 Sivalinga shrine, and many others. Whereas the outer complex includes Virat Swaroop Temple, Guhyeshwari Temple, Ram Mandir, 12 Jyotirlinga and Pandra Shivalaya, and many more.
Facts about Pashupatinath Temple
Only Hindus are allowed to enter the main temple complex, however, non-Hindus can explore all other parts of the complex.
On the eastern bank of the Bagmati river, there are numerous single story religious buildings devoted to Shiva built from stone. These buildings look like crypts from outside, but they are sacral structures that hold lingma (erect phallus), the symbol of Lord Shiva.
There are numerous platforms for funeral pyres in the right bank of the Bagmati river.
Even the complex practices funeral ceremonies there is no smell of decaying flesh, but rather smells more like clabber mixed with different spices.
It is believed that soap was invented here after women washed clothes in the river. As the water contain animal fat and ashes of cremated Shiva followers.
The whole complex has numerous monkeys, pigeons, and deers. No doubt, why Shiva is regarded as the patron of animals.
Every year thousands of sadhus and yogis visit this place on the main occasions. Moreover, one can find sadhus all most throughout the year. You can also take their photos in exchange for a few bucks.