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Pashupatinath Temple: Pashupatinath Beautiful Temple And The Oldest Hindu Temple In Kathmandu.

Pashupatinath Temple

In Kathmandu, Nepal, close to the Bagmati River, there is a Hindu temple called Pashupatinath Temple that is dedicated to Lord Pashupati. This temple is one of the oldest and largest in existence right now.

Credit: Flickr

In 1979, this temple was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This “extensive Hindu temple precinct” is one of seven monument groups in the Kathmandu Valley designated by UNESCO. It is a “sprawling collection of temples, ashrams, images and inscriptions raised over the centuries along the banks of the sacred Bagmati river.”. [1] It has a main pagoda house, 518 small temples, and is situated on a 246 hectare (2,460,000 m2) plot of land. One of the Paadal Petra Sthalams on the continent is the temple.


Although the exact year of construction is unknown, the current structure of the temple was built in 1692 CE. A great number of additional temples have been built close to the two-story temple over the years, including the Vaishnava temple complex that includes a Rama temple from the 14th century and the Guhyeshwari Temple mentioned in an 11th-century manuscript.

The first Hindu temple in Kathmandu was built is called Pashupatinath Temple. When Pashupatinath Temple was constructed is not known for sure. However, the deity in question is said to have achieved great fame there as Pashupati by Nepal Mahatmaya and Himvatkhanda. The Pashupatinath Temple has been around since at least 400 BCE. The Shiva linga is housed in the embellished pagoda. There are numerous legends that explain how the Aalok Pashupatinath temple came to be in this location.

According to a myth, Shiva and Parvati appeared as antelopes in the forest on the east bank of the Bagmati River. Later, the gods pursued him and seized him by one of his horns, forcing him to revert to his divine form. It was once believed to be a linga to worship the broken horn, but over time it was hidden and lost. A herdsman discovered the divine linga of Pashupatinath after digging at the location where one of his cows had been drenching the ground with milk centuries earlier.

Gopalraj Aalok Vhat asserts that the Licchavi king Prachanda Deva constructed the temple.

A different history claims that the Pashupatinath Temple was originally a Linga-shaped Devalaya before Supuspa Deva built a five-story Pashupatinath temple there. The temple required maintenance and restoration as time went on. It is known that Shivadeva (1099–1126 CE), a medieval king, rebuilt this temple. Ananta Malla renovated it and gave it a roof.

The sanctum sanctorum and the main Pashupatinath temple complex were unharmed by the April 2015 Nepal earthquake, but some of the complex’s outlying structures were.


The architecture of this main temple is modeled after a pagoda in Nepal. The two-level copper roofs have a gold covering. The temple is supported by a platform with a square base and a height of 23 m 7 cm from base to pinnacle. It has four main doors, each of which is protected by a silver sheet. This temple’s pinnacle (peak) is made of gold. There are two garbhagrihas inside: the sanctum sanctorum, which houses the idol, is the inner garbhagriha, while the outer sanctum is an open area that resembles a corridor.


The main idol, or sacrosanctum, is a stone Mukhalinga with a silver yoni base that is secured by a silver serpent. It stands one meter tall and has four faces that each stand for a different aspect of Shiva: Sadyojata (also known as Barun), Vamadeva (also known as Ardhanareshwara), Tatpurusha, Aghora, and Ishana (imaginative).

Small hands that protrude from each face are holding a kamandalu in the left hand and a rudraksha mala in the right. It is only possible to pour milk and Ganga Jal during the ritual through the main priests because, unlike other Shiva lingams in India and Nepal, this lingam is always covered in its golden vastram except during abhisheka.


Only four priests are permitted to touch the idol. The Bhatta and the Rajbhandari, two groups of priests, perform Pashupatinath’s daily rites. A Bhandari is a helper or a caretaker of a temple who is not authorized to perform puja rituals or touch the deity, whereas a Bhatta performs the daily ritual and is permitted to touch the lingam.


There are four entrances to the temple courtyard in the four cardinal directions. The four entrances to the temple courtyard are only accessible during festivals, with the western entrance serving as the main entrance. Who is permitted entry into the inner courtyard is decided by the Pashupatinath area development trust and the temple security (Armed Police Force Nepal).

Only practicing Buddhists from Nepali and Tibetan diasporas as well as South Asian Hindus are permitted inside the temple. Western-born practicing Hindus are not permitted inside the temple complex and are only allowed as far as other non-Hindu visitors. Sikhs and Jains are given an exception, allowing them access to the temple complex if they have Indian ancestry. Others can view the main temple from the opposite bank of the river and spend $10 (1,000 Nepalese rupees) to visit the smaller temples that are situated on the complex’s exterior grounds.

From 4:00 a.M., the inner temple courtyard is open. M. To 7 p. M. However, the Pashupatinath Temple’s interior is accessible starting at five in the morning. M. To 12 p. M. For the morning ceremony, viewing, and beginning at 5 p.M. M. To 7 p. M. In honor of the nightly custom. In contrast to many other Shiva temples, visitors are permitted to observe from the outer garbhagriha’s exterior grounds but are not permitted to enter the inner garbhagriha. Depending on the month and the season, the temple closes at 6:30 p.M. In November. M. It goes dark at 8 p.M. In the summer. M.


There are four entrances: east, west, north, and south, which lead to the inner sanctuary where the lingam is located. From 9:30 a. M. To 1:30 p. M. From all four doors, devotees can offer prayers.

Additionally, all four doors are opened during abhisheka from 9 to 11 in the morning. M. Depending on which way the mukh is viewed, abhisheka is performed.


The Maoist-led government of Nepal “hand picked” Nepalese priests of the Khas-Gorkhali ethnicity to lead the temple in January 2009, circumventing the temple’s long-standing requirements. This was done after the chief priest of Pashupatinath Temple was forced to resign. The Rajbhandaris (temple caretakers) of the temple objected to this appointment, saying that they were not against the appointment of Nepalese priests but opposed to the appointment without due process.

The Supreme Court of Nepal overturned the appointment after it was contested in a civil court, but the government disregarded the decision and stuck with its choice, sparking public outrage and demonstrations against a lack of transparency. Around 100 Maoist cadres attacked the temple caretakers during a fight between the Communist Party of Nepal’s (Maoist) youth wing and the protesting temple staff, though the Maoists denied attacking the caretakers.

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Over a dozen people were hurt. The Bhatt and other pro-Bhatt protesters were supported by lawmakers and activists from opposition parties who joined the demonstrations. Hindus in Nepal and elsewhere voiced their long-standing displeasure and protest, forcing the government to change its mind and reinstate Bhatta priests.

FAQs: Pashupatinath Temple

What is special about Pashupatinath temple?

Pashupatinath Temple is the oldest Hindu temple in Kathmandu. It is not known for certain when Pashupatinath Temple was built. But according to Nepal Mahatmaya and Himvatkhanda, the deity here gained great fame there as Pashupati. Pashupatinath Temple’s existence is recorded as early as 400 CE.

Why Lord Shiva is called Pashupatinath?

Lord Shiva is considered the Lord of knowledge — Jnanam maheshwarat icchet. Only by the grace of Lord Shiva can the jiva be liberated from the pasha or the bondage caused by maya. Hence the name Pashupati — The Lord who can make the pashu free from the pasha and grant liberation.

Which god is Pashupatinath?

Pashupatinath is an avatar of Shiva, one of the Hindu Trinity. He is the male counterpart of Shakti. The five faces of Pashupatinath represent various incarnations of Shiva; Sadyojata (also known as Barun), Vamdeva (also known as Uma Maheswara), Tatpurusha, Aghor & Ishana.

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