Pashupatinath, or Pashupati, is a Hindu temple on the banks of the Bagmati River in Deopatan, a village 3 km northwest of Kathmandu. It is dedicated to a manifestation of Shiva called Pashupati (Lord of Animals). The temple is barred to non-Hindus, but a good view of the temple can be had from the opposite bank of the river.
It is a 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.
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, Devi and Ganesh.The priests of Pashaputinath are called Bhattas and the chief priest is called Mool Bhatt or Raval. The chief priest 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 members 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.Pashaputi Temple's extensive grounds include many other old and important temples, shrines and statues.
In the northeast corner of the temple courtyard is the small pagoda temple of Vasuki, the King of the Nagas. Vasuki has the form of a Naga (mythical snake) from the waist upwards, while the lower parts are an intricate tangle of snakes' bodies. According to local belief, Vasuki took up residence here in order to protect Pashupati.
The Bagmati River, which runs next to Pashaputinath Temple, has highly sacred properties.Arya Ghat, dating from the early 1900s, is of special importance because it is the only place where lustral water for Pashupatinath Temple can be obtained.
Tradition says Pashupatinath was constructed by Pashupreksha of the Somadeva Dynasty in the 3rd century BC, but the first historical records date from the 13th century. By the later Middle Ages, many imitations of the temple had been built, such as in Bhaktapur (1480), Lalitpur (1566) and Benares (early 19th century). The original temple was destroyed several times until it was given its present form under King Bhupalendra Malla in 1697.
According to a legend recorded in local texts, the Hindu god Shiva once fled from the other gods in Varanasi to Mrigasthali, the forest on the opposite bank of the Bagmati River from the temple. There, in the form of a gazelle, he slept with his consort Parvati. When the gods discovered him there and tried to bring him back to Varanasi, he leapt across the river to the opposite bank, where one of his horns broke into four pieces.
After this, Shiva became manifest as Pashupati (Lord of Animals) in a four-face (chaturmukha) linga.Temple courtyard has 4 entrances in all directions.The western entrance is the main entrance to the temple courtyard and rest three entrances are only opened during big festival . Practicing Hindus and buddhist of Indian and Tibetan descendent are only allowed into temple courtiyard .
Opening time: 4 AM to 12 Noon
Client Special Puja: 6:30 to 7:00 PM
There are many festivals throughout the year .Thousands of people attend these festival.The most important festival is the Maha Shiva Ratri Bala chaturthi and Teej.
Do pray your Ishta Devata before pilgrimage to Temple.
Do contact Temple Devasthanam information centre for enquiry, temple information and for Pooja details etc.
Do reserve your travel and accommodation at Temple well in advance.
Do bath and wear clean clothes before you enter the temple.
Do concentrate on God and Goddess inside the temple.
Do maintain silence and recite your Istamantram to yourself inside the temple.
Do observe ancient custom and traditions while in Temple.
Do respect religious sentiments at Temple.
Do deposit your offerings in the hundi only.
Do not come to Temple for any purpose other than worshipping of God and Goddess.
Do not smoke at Temple.
Do not consume alcoholic drinks at Temple.
Do not eat non-vegetarian food in the Kshetram.
Do not approach mediators for quick Darshanam. It may cause inconvenient to others.
Do not carry any weapon inside the temple.
Do not wear any head guards like helmets, caps, turbans and hats inside the temple premises.
Do not perform Sastanga Pranama inside the Sanctum Sanctorum.not take much time while performing Sparsa Darshanam to God in Garbhagriha.
Do not buy spurious prasadams from street vendors.
Do not encourage beggars at Temple.
Do not spit or create nuisance in the premises of the temple.