Saturday, February 7, 2015

Pashupatinath Temple- Kathmandu

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Pashupatinath Temple-Kathmandu-Nepal

Pashupatinath Temple:  Pashupatinath Temple Nepal's most sacred Hindu shrine and one of the greatest Shiva sites, is located on the banks of the Bagmati River 5 kilometres north-east of Kathmandu Valley in the eastern city of Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal. Pashupathinath is the guardian spirit and the holiest of all Shiva shrines in Nepal. Lord Shiva is known by many different names; and Pashupati is one. Pashu means leaving beings, and Pati means master. In other words Pashupati is the master of all living beings of the universe. This is how lord Pashupati is eulogized in the Vedas, Upnisada and ohter religious books.

Pashupatinath Temple, with its astonishing architectural beauty, stands as a symbol of faith, religion, cultural and tradition. Regarded as the most sacred temple of Hindu Lord Shiva in the world.Situated amidst many other temples on the right bank of the river Bagmati about 5 kms north-east of Kathmandu . Pashupatinath is the guardian spirit and the holiest of all Shiva shrines in Nepal.

Fast Facts:

Location    : 5 km north east of Kathmandu
Category   : UNESCO listed World Culture Heritage Site.
Era            : Prior to 400 AD.

Unique Features :

* Only four priests, appointed by the king, can touch the idol of Lord Shiva
* The Priests are always from South India.
* It is believed that this tradition have been started by Sage Shankaracharya in 6th century.

What to see at Pashupatinath Temple

Pashupatinath Temple stands in the center of the town of Deopatan, in the middle of an open courtyard. It is square, two-tiered Pagoda Temple built on a single-tier plinth, and it stands 23.6 meters above the ground. Richly ornamented gilt and silver-plated doors are on all sides.

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On both sides of each door are niches of various sizes containing gold-painted images of Guardian Deities. Inside the temple itself is a narrow ambulatory around the sanctum. The Sanctum contains a one-meter high linga with four faces (chaturmukha) representing Pashupati, as well as images of Vishnu, Surya, Deva and Ganesh.

The priests ofPashupatinath are called Bhattas and the chief priests is called Mool Bhatt or Raval. The chief priests is answerable only to the king of Nepal and reports to him on temple matters on a periodic basis.

The struts under the roofs, dating from the late 17th century, are decorated with wood carvings of member's of Shiva's family such as Parvati, Ganesh, Kumar or the Yoginis, as well as Hanuman, Rama, Sita, Lakshman and other gods and goddesses from the Ramayana.Pashupatinath Temple's extensive ground include many other old and important temples, shrines and statues. South of the temple, for instance is Chandeshwar, an inscribed Licchavi Linga from the 7th century, and north of the temple is a 9th century temple of Brahma. On the south side of Pashupatinath temple is the Dharmashila, a stone where sacred oaths are taken, and pillars with statues of various shah kings.The Bagmati River, which runs next to Pashupatinath.

Temple, has highly sacred properties Thus the banks are lined with many ghats (bathing spots) for use by pilgrims. Arya Ghat: dating from the early 1900s, is of special importance because it is the only place where lustral water of Pashupatinath Temple can be obtained and it is where members of the royal family are cremated. The main


Pashupatinath Temple can be obtained and it is where members of the royal family are cremated. The main cremation site is Bhasme Hvar Ghat, which is the most-used cremation site in Kathmandu Valley. The preferred bathing spot for women is the Gauri Ghat, to the north. Across the Bagmati River are 15 votive shrines, the Pandava Shivalaya, which were built to enshrine lingas in memory of deceased person between 1859 and 1869.


Pashupatinath is Nepal's most renowned Hindu cremation site. In Hindu culture, after the person is dead, his/her body is wrapped in cloth and placed on bamboo litter and bodies are delivered by barefoot pallbearers accompanied by the male relatives. The eldest son from the family performs the cremation ceremony and the dead body is burnt. A few hours later the ashes are collected and swept in the river which will join the Holy Ganges eventually.

How to Reach:

There are regular bus services from Kathmandu (from Ratna Park or City Bus Station) to Patan. It takes approximately 45 minutes to reach Goshala, the stop for Pashupatinath.

* Battery-operated Safa Tempo depart from near the Ratana Park Office in Kathmandu and drops the pilgrims at Ring Road, west of Pashupatinath. Thereafter, a tempo going to Chabahil or Bodnath can be hired.


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