For a Lord Shiva devotee the Pashupatinath temple certainly doesn’t need any introduction. However even for people who love exploring religious sites the Pashupatinath Temple can be a wondrous site. This is basically an old temple in Nepal, Kathmandu and holds a lot of importance. This ancient Pashupatinath Temple Kathmandu carries along with itself historical relevance and cultural significance. For everyone visiting Nepal, visiting the Pashupatinath temple is an absolute must. Furthermore there are even a lot of people who visit Nepal only to pay their visit to the temple. So if you are planning a visit to Pashupatinath Temple Nepal, then keep on reading. In this article I will share with you all the necessary information about the Kathmandu Pashupatinath Mandir. This will be a helpful read for you so keep on reading and enrich yourself.
Pashupatinath Temple Kathmandu
Location of Pashupatinath Temple: Pashupatinath Road, Kathmandu, Nepal
Pashupatinath Temple Timings:
The inner Pashupatinath Temple is open from 4 am to 7 pm. Lingam of Pashupatinath Temple is open for visit from 5 am to 12 pm. The western door opens for visit from 9:30 am to 1:30 pm
Entry fee of Pashupatinath Temple:
There is no entry fee for Indian and Nepali Hindus and Buddhists. Hindus not residing in Nepal or India do not have the permission to enter inside the inner sanctum of the temple. It is allowed for the Sikhs and Jains to only enter the temple complex though. Everyone else can watch the structure of the temple from the other side of the Bagmati River. For foreigners the entry fee is 1000 Nepali rupees per person. Furthermore the Abhisheka Ticket costs 1100 Nepali Rupees.
Overview of Pashupatinath Temple Kathmandu
The Pashupatinath Temple Kathmandu is one of the holiest shrines in Nepal. Not just in Nepal this temple is one of the revered shines of Lord Shiva in the whole world. Stretched across the banks of the Bagmati River, this is a massive temple. Spread across an area of 600 acres this is the largest Hindu Temple in India. According to popular belief the temple dates back to the 5th century and therefore this is one of the oldest temples as well.
Moreover, this temple is one of the eight Heritage sites of the Kathmandu Valley. UNESCO declared this temple as one of the World Heritage Sites in 1979. Other than the main temple 518 mini temples are present inside the temple complex. There are battery operated scooter rides from the south western entrance of the temple. The older pilgrims here can avail this service at completely free of cost.
One of the most unique features of the Pashupatinath Temple Kathmandu is that only four priests can touch the main idol here. Two sets of priests are responsible for carrying out the daily rituals and puja of the temple. The first are the Bhatts who have the permission to touch the deity here. And the other one are the Bhandaris who are the caretakers of the whole temple. Other than a site of pilgrimage this is also one of the sites where people wish to breathe their last. The river bank here is one of the popular places of cremation and therefore the area is thronged by many elderly people. According to popular belief, someone who dies here is reincarnated as human beings again with all their past mistakes forgiven.
How to reach Pashupatinath Temple Kathmandu
The Pashupatinath Temple is sprawled across a huge area in the outskirts of Kathmandu. If you are travelling in a flight then the Tribhuvan International Airport is the nearest airport. You can reach the Pashupatinath temple Kathmandu from there. Both public and private modes of transport are available from there. Furthermore if you are travelling from Boudhanath Stupa then the distance to the temple is about 10 minutes. From Thamel Marg and Kathmandu Durbar Square the temple is about at a distance of 20 minutes. Local cabs are available to reach the temple from there. Or you can even walk up to the temple if you are anywhere nearby. Local buses are available here too in this route but mostly they are quite overcrowded. So for convenient travel a cab or a car would be the best.
Best time to visit Pashupatinath Temple Kathmandu
Even though the Pashupatinath Temple is a year round site of pilgrimage and there are devotees visiting here all year round. However there are certain special occasions and festivals where there is an influx of more devotees. The main festival celebrated here is obviously Mahashivratri. People from Nepal as well as from around the world visit here during the Maha Shivratri festival. Other than that Teej and Bala Chaturthi are other festivals celebrated here with much grandeur. The whole temple premise looks majestic during this time with garlands and lights. Moreover the ambience of the whole premise changes and gives an ethereal appeal. So you can surely plan to visit here during this time.
Architecture of Pashupatinath Temple
Following the Nepalese architectural style of Pagoda the main temple complex is built. You can notice a very distinct architectural pattern of the Pagoda style. From intricate wood carvings to cubic construction everything reflects this form of architecture. Here the roofs of the temple are made using copper. On top of that there is gold gilded in it along with a silver coating done on the doors. Furthermore there is a gold pinnacle of this temple which is known as Gajur. Alongside there are two Garbhagriha of this temple as well. The inner Garbhagriha is the main abode of Lord Shiva while the outer space is more like a corridor. One of the major attractions of the temple is also the golden statue of Lord Shiva’s vehicle Nandi the Bull.
The Pashupatinath Temple inside, houses the Mukhalinga which is the primary deity here. With a serpent covered in silver the Shiva Lingam is made of stone that rests on top of Yoni base. Here the Shiva lingam is one meter high with four faces facing 4 directions. Each of the faces of the deity represents different forms of Lord Shiva. These are Sadyojata, Tatpurusha, Aghora and Ardhanareshwara or Vamadeva. Alongside there is another imaginative face of Ishana that points towards the Zenith. There is a special significance of these five faces as well. Each of these faces represents the 5 elements air, earth, ether, fire and water. From each of the faces tiny hands come out holding a Kamandulu on the left hand and with a rudraksha bead mala in the right hand. Further the deity decks up in golden vastaram or attire.
Pashupatinath Temple Kathmandu has a total of four entrances located in four geographical directions. The main entrance of the temple is in the West. This entrance in the west is the entrance that remains open every day. However the other three entrances remain closed on a daily basis. They are only open during special occasions and festival periods. Only the practicing Hindus and Nepalis have the permission to enter the courtyard of the temple. Jain and Sikh communities have the permission only to enter the temple complex. Furthermore, people other than that do not have the permission to enter the temple.
However no devotee has the permission to enter the innermost Garbhagriha though. The only way to see the idol is from the temple premise itself. Other than the main temple there are a series of smaller temples inside the complex as well.
Abhishekam of the Pashupatinath Temple Kathmandu
The temple of Pashupatinath has a total of 4 entrances. And all the four entrances are open from 9 am in the morning to 11 pm. This is the time for Abhishekahm in the temple. It is the only time when the faces of the Shiva Lingam are visible to the devotees from all directions. For the tickets of the Abhishekam there is a charge of 1100 Nepali rupees. There is a ticket counter from where you will get the ticket as well. This ticket charge also covers the Rudrabhishekam as well.
However, the priests conduct the Puja on the basis of which direction you are facing. Each of the coupons has the direction written on it. If the ticket says west then you will have to stand in the queue of the west facing entrance and so on. On the basis of that the priests conduct the Abhisheka of the Shiva lingam.
Major attractions in Pashupatinath Temple Kathmandu
Located very close to the main Pashupatinath Temple, the main deity here is Lord Shiva’s consort Devi Sati. The construction of this temple goes back to the 17th century. However, same like the Pashupatinath Temple here also non Hindus do not have the permission to enter.
This is yet another important temple dating back to the 11th century. Located amidst the forest landscape this temple is popular for its natural beauty.
Western Cremation Ghat
On the bank of the river Bagmati this ghat is one of the sacred parts of the river. This is the reason why the Brahmins conduct the cremation ceremonies here at this location. Furthermore on the northern end of this ghat, there are many caves belonging to the medieval times. These caves were previously here for meditating purposes. A 7th century Buddha statue is also located here.
This is a ghat where holy men perform all sorts of rituals. There is a footbridge here as well that you can use to cross the river.
It is another popular temple which dates back to the 6th century. This is a temple famous for its erotic paintings and sculptures along with tantric figures and skeleton decoration.
As the name suggests this is one of the best places where you can find all kinds of religious items. The market also has some special items that you can buy as souvenirs as well.
For anyone visiting Nepal, a Nepal tour is incomplete without a visit to the Pashupatinath Temple Kathmandu. Kathmandu Pashupatinath Temple has its own aura that it carries while being an ancient Lord Shiva shrine. Furthermore it can offer you a divine experience that you would not like to miss out on. Everything about the Kathmandu Pashupatinath is on a very large scale. You will be able to understand this only if you are visiting here. So make sure you are definitely visiting the Temple of Pashupatinath whenever you are visiting Nepal. Let me know if this particular article is helpful for you in knowing about this temple. And don’t forget to let me know when you are planning a visit to Nepal.