The Pashupatinath Temple is a famous and sacred Hindu temple complex that is located on the banks of the Bagmati River, approximately 5 kilometres north-east of Kathmandu in the eastern part of Kathmandu Valley, the capital of Nepal. The temple serves as the seat of Nepal’s national deity, Lord Pashupatinath.
This temple complex was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage Sites‘s list in 1979. This “extensive Hindu temple precinct” is a “sprawling collection of temples, ashrams, images and inscriptions raised over the centuries along the banks of the sacred Bagmati river” and is included as one of the seven monument groups in UNESCO’s designation of Kathmandu Valley as a cultural heritage site. One of the major Festivals of the temple is Maha Shivaratri on which day over 1 million devotees visit here.
The twelve Jyotirlinga (in India) are the body and the Jyotirlinga at Pashupatinath in Kathmandu (Nepal) is the head over this body.
The temple is one of the 275 Tamil Paadal Petra Sthalams (Holy Abodes of Shiva) on the continent. Kotirudra Samhita, Chapter 11 on the Shivalingas of the North, in Shiva Purana mentions this Shivalinga as the bestower of all wishes.
This main temple is built in the Nepalese pagoda style of architecture. All the features of pagoda style are found here like cubic constructions, beautifully carved wooden rafters on which they rest (tundal). The two level roofs are of copper with gold covering. The temple resides on a square base platform with a height of 23m 7 cm from base to pinnacle. It has four main doors, all covered with silver sheets. This temple has a gold pinnacle (Gajur). Inside are two Garbhagrihas, outer and inner. The inner garbhagriha or sanctum sanctorum is where the idol is placed and outer sanctum is an open corridor-like space.
Every once a year there is big festival called Shivaratri the day when Lord Shiva was born and people from all over country visit this day. All celebrate birthday of Lord Shiva this day. There are many festivals throughout the year and thousands of people attend these festivals. The most important festivals are the Maha Shiva Ratri Bala Chaturthi festival, and Teej festival. Teej is one of the most celebrated festival at Pashupatinath Temple. It is celebrated by Hindu Nepali women for long life, happiness of their husband. It is believed that taking fasting at that day will make strong bond between the husband and wife. On this day,Pashupatinath Temple will be with biggest crowd.
On the day of Maha Shiva Ratri
The temple courtyard has 4 entrances in the cardinal directions. The western entrance is the main entrance to the temple courtyard and the remaining three entrances are open only during festivals. The temple security (Armed Police Force Nepal) and the Pashupatinath area development trust are selective regarding who is allowed entry into the inner courtyard. Practising Hindus and Buddhists of Nepali diaspora are only allowed into Temple courtyard.
Practising Hindus of Western descent are not allowed into the temple complex and must go no further than other, non-Hindu visitors. An exception is granted to Sikhs and Jainists; if they are of Indian ancestry they may enter the temple complex. Others can look at the main temple from the adjacent side of the river and have to pay a nominal fee of $10 (1000 Nepali rupees) for visiting the hundreds of small temples located in the external premises of the temple complex.
The inner temple courtyard remains open from 4 am to 7 pm for the devotee but the Inner Pashupatinath Temple where the Lingam of Lord Pashupatinath is established is open from 5 am to 12 pm for the morning ritual and viewing and from 5 pm to 7 pm for the evening ritual. Unlike many other Saiva temples, devotees are not allowed to enter in the innermost Garbhagriha premises but are allowed to watch from the exterior premises of the outer Garbhagriha.
One of the Hindu and religious temple is Pashupatinath where people come to visit regularly. Mostly visitor from India come to visit and worship this temple. Tourist also visit this place. Everyday at night there is chanting in front of the Pashupatinath temple.