Pashupatinath temple is located on the Western bank of Bagmati river. The exact date of Pashupatinath’s construction is unknown. Despite this fact, the Pashupatinath is considered the oldest Hindu temple of Kathmandu.
The earliest evidence of the temple’s existence dates back to 400 A.D. The current main temple of Pashupatinath complex was built in the end of the 17th century to replace the previous one, destroyed by termites.
Countless smaller temples were constructed around the main temple on both banks of Bagmati River during the last few centuries.
There are numerous legends, connected with the construction of the temple. The most famous one claims, that the temple was built on the site where Shiva lost one of his antlers, while he was in the guise of a deer. He and his wife arrived to the bank of Bagmati and amazed by the beauty of the site decided to change themselves into deers and walk in the surrounding forests.
After a while gods and humans decided to return them to their duties, but Shiva rejected to return and they had to use force. In the fight Shiva lost one of his antlers, which later became the first lingam worshipped by Hinduists in Pashupatinath. Later this relic was lost, and according to another legend, found again by a herdsman, whose cow showed the location of lingam by irrigating the place it was buried with her milk.
Only followers of Hinduism can enter the main temple, but all the other buildings are available for foreigners to visit. From the Eastern bank of the river the main temple can be seen in its whole beauty. The western bank of Bagmati also hosts the so called Panch Deval (Five temples) complex, which once was a holy shrine but now serves a shelter for destitute old people.
Every year this temple attracts hundreds of elderly followers of Hinduism. They arrive here to find shelter for the last several weeks of their lives, to meet death, be cremated on the banks of the river and travel their last journey with the waters of the sacred river Bagmati, which later meets the holy river Ganges. Hinduists from every corner of Nepal and India are arriving here to die.
It is believed that those who die in Pashupatinath Temple are reborn as a human, regardless of any misconduct that could worsen their karma. The exact day of their death is predicted by astrologers of the temple. If you are attracted to the places where the spirit of death can be felt, then consider Pashupatinath as your first destination. It is a temple with special atmosphere of death; death is present in almost every ritual and every corner of it.
From Kathmandu airport the temple is approx. 2 Km. From Janakpur railway station it is 222 Km. 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 Safaa tempos depart from near the Ratna Park office in Kathmandu and drops the pilgrims at Ring Road, west of Pashupatinath. Thereafter, a tempo going to Chabahil or Bodhnath can be hired.
- 4.00 AM to 12.00 Noon, 5 PM to 9.00 PM
- Contact Person:
Nepal Tourism Board
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