Pashupatinath Temple is a famous Hindu temple located in the city of Kathmandu, Nepal. It is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is one of the most revered and holiest temples in Nepal, as well as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The temple complex consists of many smaller temples and shrines, and the main temple is a two-story pagoda-style building with a gold-plated roof, four silver-plated doors, and intricately carved wooden rafters. The temple is surrounded by a bustling marketplace, which sells souvenirs and religious items, and a holy river, Bagmati, which is considered sacred by Hindus.
Pashupatinath Temple is an important pilgrimage site for Hindus from all over the world, and many festivals and rituals are held here throughout the year. The most significant festival celebrated here is Maha Shivaratri, a day when thousands of devotees gather at the temple to offer prayers and seek blessings from Lord Shiva.
The temple complex also houses the Pashupati Area Development Trust, which is responsible for the maintenance and management of the temple and its surroundings. The trust also runs a hospital, schools, and other social and cultural institutions in the area.
Visitors to Pashupatinath Temple are expected to dress modestly and respect the customs and traditions of the temple. It is recommended to visit the temple with a guide who can provide insight into the history and significance of the temple.
History of Pashupatinath Temple
Pashupatinath Temple is a Hindu temple located in the capital city of Nepal, Kathmandu. It is one of the most sacred temples of Lord Shiva in the world and is considered one of the holiest shrines for Hindus. The temple's history dates back to the 5th century and is shrouded in myth and legend.
According to Hindu mythology, the temple was originally built by Lord Shiva himself. He appeared in a dream to a cowherd who was looking for a lost cow, and told him where to find it. The cowherd discovered a lingam (a representation of Lord Shiva) on the site, and he began worshipping it. Over time, a temple was built on the site, and it became known as Pashupatinath, which means "Lord of the Animals".
The temple was later rebuilt by King Bhupatindra Malla in the 17th century, and it has undergone several renovations and additions over the years. The temple complex covers an area of 264 hectares and includes a number of smaller temples and shrines. The main temple is a pagoda-style building with a golden roof and four silver-plated doors. It is built on a raised platform on the banks of the Bagmati River.
Pashupatinath Temple is not only a place of worship but also a cultural and historical landmark. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and attracts thousands of visitors from around the world each year. The temple is particularly important for Hindus, who come here to pay their respects to Lord Shiva and to perform the last rites for their loved ones. It is believed that those who die at Pashupatinath are liberated from the cycle of rebirth and attain moksha, or release from the cycle of birth and death.
Signification of Pashupatinath Temple
Pashupatinath Temple is one of the most significant temples for Hindus, and it holds a great religious, cultural, and historical importance. Here are some of the significations of the Pashupatinath Temple:
- The Temple of Lord Shiva: Pashupatinath Temple is one of the most important shrines dedicated to Lord Shiva, one of the major deities in Hinduism. Lord Shiva is believed to be the destroyer of evil and the source of creation and transformation.
- The Jyotirlinga: Pashupatinath Temple is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas, which are the holiest Shiva temples in India and Nepal. Jyotirlingas are believed to be the sacred abodes of Lord Shiva and represent the infinite nature of the divine.
- The Seat of the Living Goddess: The temple is also home to the Kumari, a young girl who is believed to be the incarnation of the Hindu goddess Taleju. The Kumari is worshipped as a living goddess by both Hindus and Buddhists.
- The Sacred Cremation Site: The temple is situated on the banks of the Bagmati River, and it is believed to be the most sacred cremation site for Hindus in Nepal. It is believed that those who are cremated here will be liberated from the cycle of birth and death and attain salvation.
- The Cultural Heritage: Pashupatinath Temple is not only a place of worship but also a cultural heritage site. It attracts thousands of visitors every year who come to experience the unique blend of religion, history, and architecture that the temple represents.
Overall, Pashupatinath Temple is a symbol of the rich cultural and religious traditions of Nepal and a testament to the enduring legacy of Lord Shiva and his importance in Hinduism.
Architecture of Pashupatinath Temple
Pashupatinath Temple is an ancient temple located in Kathmandu, Nepal. The temple's architecture is a blend of Nepalese and Hindu styles, and it has undergone several renovations and additions over the centuries. Here are some of the architectural features of Pashupatinath Temple:
- Pagoda Style: The main temple is a pagoda-style building, which is a traditional style of architecture in Nepal. It has a multi-tiered roof, which is covered with gold and has four silver-plated doors.
- Gilded Door Panels: The four doors of the temple are intricately decorated with gilded panels depicting various scenes from Hindu mythology.
- Golden Shikhara: The shikhara or the tower above the main sanctum is also covered with gold.
- Wooden Carvings: The temple's wooden carvings are among its most impressive features. The carvings depict various deities and mythological scenes, and they are highly detailed and intricate.
- Stone Sculptures: The temple also features many stone sculptures, including those of various gods and goddesses, as well as animals and other mythological creatures.
- Small Shrines: The temple complex also includes many smaller shrines and temples, each with its own unique architecture and design.
- Location: The temple is situated on the banks of the Bagmati River, and it is surrounded by a beautiful natural landscape, including lush forests and rolling hills.
Overall, the architecture of Pashupatinath Temple is a testament to the rich cultural and religious traditions of Nepal and a reflection of the enduring legacy of Lord Shiva in Hinduism.
Festivals of Pashupatinath Temple
Pashupatinath Temple is one of the most important temples in Nepal and is a significant pilgrimage site for Hindus worldwide. The temple hosts many festivals and celebrations throughout the year, which are an important part of Nepalese and Hindu culture. Here are some of the festivals celebrated at Pashupatinath Temple:
- Shivaratri: Shivaratri is the most important festival celebrated at Pashupatinath Temple. It is a celebration of Lord Shiva, and thousands of devotees come to the temple to offer prayers and seek blessings from the deity. The festival falls in the month of February or March and is celebrated with great enthusiasm and devotion.
- Teej: Teej is a festival celebrated by women in Nepal, and it is dedicated to the goddess Parvati, the wife of Lord Shiva. Women dress in red and green attire and sing and dance in celebration of the festival. The temple is decorated with lights and flowers, and there are special prayers and rituals performed on this day.
- Krishna Janmashtami: Krishna Janmashtami is a festival that celebrates the birth of Lord Krishna, who is an important deity in Hinduism. The festival is celebrated with great devotion and enthusiasm, and the temple is decorated with lights and flowers.
- Bala Chaturdashi: Bala Chaturdashi is a festival that is celebrated on the 14th day of the dark fortnight in the month of Kartik. The festival is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is a celebration of life and death. Devotees come to the temple to offer prayers and light candles to honor their ancestors.
- Dashain: Dashain is a major festival in Nepal, and it is celebrated over 15 days. The festival is dedicated to the goddess Durga, and it celebrates the victory of good over evil. The temple is decorated with lights and flowers, and there are special prayers and rituals performed on this day.
Overall, the festivals of Pashupatinath Temple are an important part of Nepalese and Hindu culture and attract thousands of devotees every year. The festivals are a celebration of life, death, and the enduring legacy of Lord Shiva and his significance in Hinduism.
Visiting hours of Pashupatinath Temple
The visiting hours of Pashupatinath Temple may vary depending on the season and the day of the week. Generally, the temple is open from early morning until late evening.
The temple is open for visitors from 4:00 am to 7:00 pm every day, except for during special occasions and festivals, when the temple may remain open for longer hours.
The temple is closed for non-Hindu visitors during certain times of the day when the main puja (worship) rituals are being performed. These times may vary, but typically non-Hindu visitors are not allowed into the main temple between 12:00 pm and 5:00 pm.
It is recommended to check the temple's official website or with local authorities to confirm the visiting hours before planning a visit. Additionally, visitors are required to follow the dress code and other rules and regulations of the temple while visiting.
Dress code of Pashupatinath Temple
The Pashupatinath Temple in Kathmandu, Nepal, is a Hindu temple and a UNESCO World Heritage site. As a religious site, visitors are expected to dress appropriately and respectfully.
The dress code for Pashupatinath Temple requires that both men and women cover their bodies completely. This means that men should wear long pants and shirts that cover their shoulders, while women should wear long skirts or dresses that cover their ankles, and shirts or blouses that cover their shoulders. Visitors are also required to remove their shoes before entering the temple premises. It is recommended to wear socks to protect your feet from the hot ground.
In addition to the dress code, visitors are expected to behave respectfully while visiting the temple. Loud talking, taking photographs inside the temple, and pointing feet towards the deity are considered disrespectful and should be avoided. It is important to note that the dress code and behavior guidelines are not just for tourists, but also for locals and devotees who visit the temple. By following these guidelines, visitors can show respect for the culture and traditions of the temple and its worshippers.
Poojas and rituals of Pashupatinath Temple
Pashupatinath Temple is a famous Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, located in Kathmandu, Nepal. The temple is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is considered one of the holiest Hindu shrines in the world. The poojas and rituals performed at the Pashupatinath Temple are steeped in ancient traditions and are an important part of Hindu culture and religion.
- Maha Shivaratri: Maha Shivaratri is the most important festival celebrated at the Pashupatinath Temple. It falls on the 14th day of the dark fortnight in the month of Magha (February/March). Thousands of devotees from all over the world visit the temple on this day to offer prayers and seek the blessings of Lord Shiva. Special poojas and rituals are performed throughout the day and night, and the temple is decorated with lights and flowers.
- Rudrabhishek: Rudrabhishek is a special pooja performed to please Lord Shiva and seek his blessings. It is performed by offering sacred items such as milk, honey, ghee, curd, and flowers to the Shivlinga (the phallic symbol of Lord Shiva). This pooja is usually performed early in the morning, and it is believed to bring peace, prosperity, and happiness to the devotees.
- Abhishekam: Abhishekam is a sacred bath ritual performed to the Shivlinga with water, milk, honey, and other sacred items. It is believed to purify the soul and bring good fortune to the devotees. This pooja is performed daily, and devotees can participate by offering flowers and other sacred items.
- Aarati: Aarati is a sacred ritual performed to show reverence and devotion to Lord Shiva. It involves lighting a lamp and waving it in front of the deity while chanting hymns and prayers. Aarati is performed twice daily at the Pashupatinath Temple, once in the morning and once in the evening.
- Shodashopachara Pooja: Shodashopachara Pooja is a comprehensive pooja that involves offering 16 different items to Lord Shiva, including flowers, fruits, incense, and sacred water. It is performed with great devotion and is believed to bring peace, prosperity, and happiness to the devotees.
- Mahabhishek: Mahabhishek is a grand pooja performed to Lord Shiva, involving the use of a large quantity of sacred items such as milk, honey, ghee, curd, and sacred water. This pooja is performed on special occasions such as Maha Shivaratri and is believed to bring immense blessings to the devotees.
- Bhandara: Bhandara is a sacred feast organized by the temple authorities, where devotees are served free meals. It is performed on special occasions such as festivals and auspicious days, and it is believed to bring good fortune and blessings to the devotees.
These are some of the important poojas and rituals performed at the Pashupatinath Temple. The temple is a symbol of Hindu culture and tradition, and devotees from all over the world visit the temple to seek the blessings of Lord Shiva.
Accommodation Near Pashupatinath Temple
There are several options for accommodation near the Pashupatinath Temple, ranging from budget hotels and guesthouses to luxury hotels. Here are some options:
- Hotel Pashupati Plaza: This is a budget hotel located within walking distance from the Pashupatinath Temple. The hotel offers clean and comfortable rooms with basic amenities.
- Hotel Narayana: This is a mid-range hotel located near the temple complex. The hotel offers well-furnished rooms with modern amenities and a restaurant serving local and international cuisine.
- Shanker Hotel: This is a luxury heritage hotel located about 15 minutes away from the temple. The hotel is housed in a 19th-century palace and offers elegant rooms and suites with antique furnishings and modern amenities.
- Hotel Himalaya Yoga: This is a guesthouse located about 10 minutes away from the temple. The guesthouse offers comfortable rooms with basic amenities and a rooftop terrace with views of the temple and the city.
- Hotel Holy Himalaya: This is a budget hotel located about 5 minutes away from the temple. The hotel offers simple rooms with basic amenities and a restaurant serving Nepalese and Indian cuisine.
These are just a few options for accommodation near the Pashupatinath Temple. Visitors can choose from a range of options depending on their budget and preferences. It is advisable to book accommodation in advance, especially during peak tourist season.
Attraction Near Pashupatinath Temple
There are several attractions near the Pashupatinath Temple that visitors can explore. Here are some options:
- Boudhanath Stupa: This is one of the largest stupas in the world and is located about 3 km from the Pashupatinath Temple. The stupa is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is a popular pilgrimage site for Buddhists.
- Swayambhunath Stupa: Also known as the Monkey Temple, Swayambhunath is a Buddhist stupa located about 6 km from the Pashupatinath Temple. The stupa is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and offers panoramic views of the city.
- Kathmandu Durbar Square: This is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located about 5 km from the temple. The square is home to several palaces, temples, and statues dating back to the 12th century.
- Garden of Dreams: This is a beautiful neo-classical garden located about 7 km from the temple. The garden features several pavilions, fountains, and ponds and is a popular spot for picnics and relaxation.
- Patan Durbar Square: This is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located about 8 km from the temple. The square is home to several temples, palaces, and statues dating back to the 17th century.
These are just a few options for attractions near the Pashupatinath Temple. Visitors can explore the rich cultural and historical heritage of Kathmandu by visiting these and other nearby attractions.
Things To Do In Pashupatinath Temple
Pashupatinath Temple is one of the most revered and holiest Hindu temples located in the capital city of Nepal, Kathmandu. It is an important pilgrimage destination for Hindus from all over the world. Here are some things to do when you visit Pashupatinath Temple:
- Observe the architecture of the temple: The temple is a masterpiece of Nepalese architecture, with intricate wood carvings and stunning pagoda-style roofs.
- Take a dip in the holy Bagmati River: The Bagmati River flows through the temple complex, and taking a dip in its holy waters is considered a purifying experience.
- Visit the main temple of Lord Pashupatinath: The main temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva in his manifestation as Pashupatinath. Visitors can pay their respects to the deity and witness the daily rituals and offerings.
- Observe the cremation rituals: Pashupatinath is also a famous cremation site, and visitors can observe the traditional Hindu cremation rituals taking place on the banks of the Bagmati River.
- Explore the surrounding temples: The temple complex houses many smaller temples dedicated to other deities, and visitors can explore and pay their respects to these temples as well.
- Attend a Puja or Aarti ceremony: The temple conducts daily Puja and Aarti ceremonies, and visitors can attend and participate in these devotional rituals.
- Visit the Pashupatinath Museum: The museum houses a collection of religious artifacts and displays that offer insights into the temple's history and significance.
- Take a guided tour: Visitors can take a guided tour of the temple complex to learn about its history, architecture, and significance.
- Enjoy the festive atmosphere: During major Hindu festivals like Maha Shivaratri, the temple is decked up with lights and decorations, and visitors can witness the festive atmosphere and celebrations.
- Take in the panoramic view: The temple complex offers a stunning panoramic view of the city and the surrounding hills, and visitors can take in the scenic beauty while exploring the temple complex.
Best Time To Visit Pashupatinath Temple
The best time to visit Pashupatinath Temple in Nepal is during the spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) seasons. During these months, the weather is pleasant with clear skies, making it easier to enjoy the temple's outdoor activities and the surrounding views.
Additionally, during the spring and autumn seasons, there are many Hindu festivals that take place in and around Pashupatinath Temple, such as Maha Shivaratri, Teej, and Dashain, providing visitors with a chance to witness and participate in the vibrant cultural celebrations.
However, if you prefer to avoid the crowds, it's better to visit the temple during the winter months (December to February) or the monsoon season (June to August). The winter months can be cold, but the skies are usually clear, while the monsoon season brings heavy rainfall but also lush greenery and a peaceful atmosphere.
It's important to note that Pashupatinath Temple is a place of religious significance and visitors are expected to dress modestly and respect the customs and traditions of the temple.
How To Reach Pashupatinath Temple
Pashupatinath Temple is located in Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal, and can be easily accessed via different modes of transportation. Here are some ways to reach Pashupatinath Temple:
- By air: The nearest airport to Pashupatinath Temple is Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu. From there, you can take a taxi or hire a private car to reach the temple.
- By road: You can reach Pashupatinath Temple by bus, taxi, or private car. Kathmandu is well-connected by road with major cities in Nepal, and there are regular bus services from other cities like Pokhara, Chitwan, and Lumbini.
- By train: Nepal does not have a railway network, so there are no direct trains to Kathmandu. However, you can take a train from India to Gorakhpur or Raxaul, and then take a bus or taxi to reach Kathmandu.
- By walking: If you are staying in Thamel or Boudha, you can easily walk to Pashupatinath Temple as it is located within walking distance from these areas.
Once you reach the temple, you can explore the complex on foot or hire a guide to learn more about its history and significance.
Q: What is Pashupatinath Temple?
A: Pashupatinath Temple is a famous Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva located in the capital city of Nepal, Kathmandu. It is one of the most revered and holiest temples in Nepal and is an important pilgrimage destination for Hindus from all over the world.
Q: What is the history of Pashupatinath Temple?
A: The exact origins of the temple are unclear, but it is believed to have been built in the 5th century AD. The temple complex was expanded and renovated by different rulers over the centuries, and today it stands as a masterpiece of Nepalese architecture.
Q: What is the significance of Pashupatinath Temple?
A: Pashupatinath Temple is a place of great religious and cultural significance for Hindus. It is believed to be one of the twelve Jyotirlingas (sacred abodes of Lord Shiva) and is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The temple complex is also an important center for cultural, social, and philanthropic activities.
Q: What are the opening hours of Pashupatinath Temple?
A: The temple is open to visitors from 4:00 AM to 7:00 PM every day. However, the main temple is closed to non-Hindus, and visitors are only allowed to view the temple from outside.
Q: What is the best time to visit Pashupatinath Temple?
A: The best time to visit Pashupatinath Temple is during the spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) seasons when the weather is pleasant and many Hindu festivals take place in and around the temple. However, the temple can be visited at any time of the year.
Q: What should I wear when visiting Pashupatinath Temple?
A: Visitors are expected to dress modestly and respect the customs and traditions of the temple. It is recommended to wear clothes that cover your shoulders and knees. Shoes and leather products are not allowed inside the temple complex.
Q: Are there any rules and regulations for visiting Pashupatinath Temple?
A: Yes, visitors are expected to follow certain rules and regulations when visiting the temple. Photography is not allowed inside the temple complex, and visitors are not allowed to touch the idols or take any offerings. It is also forbidden to smoke or consume alcohol within the temple premises.