Pashupatinath Temple – Most Famous Hindu Temple Of Lord Shiva In Nepal

Pashupatinath Temple:- Pashupati is considered to be the Lord over all individual souls (Jiva).  Pashupati is one of the names of Shiva.  Pashupati and Rudra, these are the two names of Shiva from the time of the Vedas.

Pashupati and Rudra, these are the two polarities of Shiva: Pashupati is called “Pati”, so guardian of the Pashus, so the creatures.  “Pashu” means creature, animal, creature.  Shiva is Pashupati, guardian of all creatures.  And Shiva is Rudra, the roaring one who transforms everything negative. Pashupati – Lord of all creatures, a surname of Shiva.

Pashupati consists of two words: Pashu – Pashu means an animal, Pashu is also called creature, Pashu is also called individual soul.  And Pati means master, Pati is also called a husband, but Pati is above all master and ruler.  Pashupati is the master of all creatures, the master of all animals.

Boards on Pashupatinath Temple Mandir Kathmandu Nepal World Heritage Sites Image
Boards on gate of Pashupatinath Temple Area

That is to say, God is Pashupati and God cares about all creatures.  Ultimately, we do not have to worry so much about ourselves, we know, God is Pashupati, God cares about us.

Pashupati is the name of Shiva, who was Lord of the Beasts.  He is one of the eight Rudras.  He is the one who has a fireplace.  The name “Pashupati” is also commonly derived from Lord of the creatures.  The Rigveda has related Pashupati as protector of the cattle.

On a seal discovered in connection with the civilization of the Indus Valley, Pashupati was also referred to a figure, probably a deity surrounded by animals.  Parallels were also drawn to the Celtic, horned god (Cernunnos).

In the archaeological site of Mohenjodaro in the Indus Valley, a seal was discovered, indicating a possible representation as a “yogi” or a “proto-Shiva figure”.  Some observers describe the figure as sitting, in a traditional legged yogic posture, with his hands on his knees.  And again, the Pashupati figure is described with three faces, sitting in a yogic posture, knees out and feet together.

World Heritage Sites Board on Pashupatinath Temple Mandir Kathmandu Nepal Images
World Heritage Site’s Hoarding Board

Pashupati’s posture is considered speculative, it does not seem to be clearly recognizable on the seal. Whether the figure has three faces, sits in a yogic posture, or even whether the figure should represent a human being.  It is still possible that there are echoes of iconographic Shiva themes, such as the crescent shapes resembling a bull’s horns.

Pashupati is a surname of Shiva.  Especially in the Vedas, Shiva likes to be called Pashupati.  And in the earliest depictions of Shiva, he is surrounded by animals, deer, antelopes, etc. Pashupati – Shiva is the guardian of living beings.

In a way, God is, in any case, God protects us and we can turn to God.  You also find this with Krishna, there is Krishna Gopala, he protects the cows.  He is also Lokapala, he protects the whole world.  So God is also Pashupati, the guardian of all living things. Pashupati is one of the better-known names of Shiva.

A banner on Pashupatinath Temple Mandir Kathmandu Nepal World Heritage Site Image
Welcoming banner on Pashupatinath Temple

Pashupati is a name of Shiva in its friendly aspects. Shiva is sometimes depicted with different animals: deer, cows, snakes, birds.  Sometimes with Ganas (ghosts sometimes called “demons”).

This symbolizes that God cares about everyone: humans and animals.  We do not need to “earn” God’s grace – so God is for us.  It is also said of Shiva that he fulfills all our wishes – without wondering if somebody “deserves” it.

The name Pashupati also symbolizes that all creatures are children of God, that no creature should prevail over others.  Pashupati here has a similar meaning as Jesus as the Good Shepherd.

A good shepherd takes care of each of his animals, as Jesus himself describes in the parable of the lost sheep.  So everyone can feel protected by God.  The name Shiva is also called “the good, the loving, the auspicious”.  Other names of Shiva in his friendly aspects are Shambhu and Shankara.

God Pashupatinath (God of Animals) is the guardian deity of Nepal. The temple of Pashupatinath is the holiest and the oldest shrine of Lord Shiva. It is situated on the eastern bank of the holy river Bagmati, about three miles northeast of the Kathmandu city.

shops on Pashupatinath Temple Mandir Kathmandu Nepal World Heritage Site Photo
Shops on Pashupatinath Temple Area

It is a double-roofed pagoda with gold-coated brass. The main gate, including three other gates, is made of silver. The world famous Lingum (a phallus) of Pashupatinath is located in the temple.

The big gilded figure of Nandi (a bull), the vehicle of Lord Shiva, is in front of the main gate of the temple. It is seated on a stone pedestal flanked by the golden trident.

The pagoda-style temple with golden roofs and silver doors is famous throughout the world. Pashupati is one of many names by which Lord Shiva is addressed. He is also known as Maheshwor, Mahadev, Rudra, Bholenath, etc.

Pashupatinath is considered as the god of gods. The importance and position of Pashupatinath in the Hindu religion has been described in all ancient scriptures.

He is worshipped as the symbol of unity by all Hindus of the world. The very name of Pashupatinath is the symbol of culmination (union) of all sects like Vaishnava, Shiva, and Shakti.

shops around Pashupatinath Temple Mandir Lord Shiva Kathmandu Nepal World Heritage Sites
shops around Pashupatinath Temple

This post is dedicated to Pashupatinath temple Nepal, the biggest temple of Lord Shiva in the world. Pashupatinath temple of Nepal is one of the biggest Hindu temples of Lord Shiva in the world. It is situated in the Kathmandu Valley on the banks of the sacred Bagmati River in the eastern part of Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal.

Pashupatinath temple Nepal is considered one of the holiest pilgrimage destinations for all Hindus of the world. The temple served as the seat of the national deity, Lord Pashupatinath until Nepal was secularized. The Pashupatinath temple Nepal is listed in UNESCO World Heritage Sites list.

The biggest temple of Lord Shiva in the world is located in the capital of Nepal. The temple of Lord Shiva, Pashupatinath, with a tiered golden roof & silver doors, is famous for its superb architecture.

Sadhus (holy men) from many different countries especially from India, visit the temple to pay homage to Lord Shiva. There are Ghats on the banks of the Bagmati River. Hindu believes that dying and being cremated in Pashupatinath and having one’s ashes scattered in Bagmati River will give a Hindu salvation and release from the cycles of birth and rebirth.

cows Pashupatinath Temple Mandir Lord Shiva Kathmandu Nepal World Heritage Site
cows on Pashupatinath Temple Area

Have a peek of Hindus life, death and tradition by visiting this holy ground. These are rectangular stone platforms used for the cremation of dead bodies while the square ones are for ritual baths.


It is one of the largest Hindu temple complexes in South Asia with hundreds of Shiva lingams, shrines icons of various Hindu gods and goddess inside.

Pashupatinath temple Nepal is the biggest temple Lord Shiva in the world. Pashupatinath is the holiest temple in the entire Hindu world. It is also renowned for its wooden and erotic carvings on the struts.

The sculptured-figures of the river goddesses Ganga and Yamuna in the Pashupatinath temple are the symbols of sacredness. Pashupatinath is the holiest destination for all the Hindu pilgrims of the world.

There are five Lingum images of Shiva, which is collectively called ‘Panchmukhi’. There are statues, shrines, and temples dedicated to other deities in the complex.

This Pashupatinath temple Nepal site occupies an area of about 281 hectares. The main entrance of this Pashupatinath temple Nepal is in the western side facing a small street of Deopatan market. Entrance to the temple precinct is forbidden to non-Hindus.

Cleaners on Pashupatinath Temple Mandir Kathmandu Nepal World Heritage Sites Photo
Cleaners on Pashupatinath Temple

Visitors will be permitted to view the temple from the east bank of the Bagmati river, as an entrance into the temple is strictly forbidden to all non-Hindus. In the middle of spring (Feb.-March) every year, the festival called Shivaratri is celebrated.

The word Shivaratri means the holy night of Lord Shiva. On this day many devotees visit Pashupatinath temple to burn the ceremonial fire. Behind the temples are the cremation grounds.

The best view is from the terrace on the wooded hill across the river. The large gilded triple-roofed temple was built in 1696 AD though 300 years earlier there was a structure on this site. The Bagmati River is lined with Dharmasalas and cremation Ghats including a royal Ghat reserved exclusively for members of the royal family.

There is usually a cremation in progress on one of the platforms by the river, regarded as holy as it flows into the sacred Ganges. There are many occasions when the faithful take ritual purificatory baths in the river.

One of the most colorful is the women’s festival of Teej when dressing in their finest red and gold saris hundreds of women, laughing and singing converge on Pashupatinath temple Nepal.

Most of the devotees spend the night offering prayers to Shiva. This festival attracts tens of thousands of pilgrims from India, besides the locals. Historically, from the pre-Christian era, this temple seems to have its origin way back to the early Kirat period. Stone sculptures found in the vicinity support the antiquity of this place.

Cow Pashupatinath Temple Mandir Kathmandu Nepal World Heritage Sites Photos
Cow on gate of Pashupatinath Temple

The richly- ornamented pagoda, houses the sacred linga or phallic symbol of Lord Shiva.

Chronicles indicate the temple’s existence prior to 400 A.D, but a shrine may have stood here nearly 1000 years before that. Legend says that Shiva once took the form of an antelope and sported unknown in the forest on Bagmati river’s east bank. The gods later caught up with him and grabbing him by the horn, forced him to resume his divine form.

The broken horn was worshiped as a linga and overtime were buried and lost. Centuries later an astonished herdsman found one of his cows showering the earth with milk. Digging deep at the site, he discovered the divine linga of Pashupatinath.

The Pashupatinath temple of Nepal has been renovated and improved over the centuries. Across the river, one can also visit the temple of Guhyeshwori and a classic 6th century ekmukhi “one-faced” linga of Shiva.

Pashupati as a spiritual name

Pashupati is also a spiritual name that aspirants can be given in a spiritual ritual (Nama Diksha).  Pashupati as a spiritual name means:

  • Be aware, God cares about you
  • Be aware: God cares about all creatures: humans and animals, physical and subtle beings, all are creatures of God
  • It is also your task to take care of the creatures: take care of those whom others care less about;  Sick people, people in need, animals, etc.

Pashupatinath temple near Kathmandu in Nepal is one of the most fascinating temple complexes. It is one of Hinduism’s most important religious sites known for its beautiful pagoda architecture, lively rituals and the dying and burial culture.

Pigeons cows Pashupatinath Temple Mandir Kathmandu Nepal World Heritage Site Photos
Pigeons cows on Pashupatinath Temple Area

For many Shivaites, the temple is one of the most important places of worship of Shiva and belongs to some to the Jyotirlingas.  The Pashupatinath Temple Complex comprises a sprawling expanse that stretches along the Bagmati River.  Dedicated to this sacred site is a manifestation of the Hindu god Shiva, namely Pashupati, the lord of the beasts.

Many Hindus consider the Pashupatinath Temple one of the holiest places in Nepal.  Accordingly, you will meet very many believers and sadhus between the ornate temples, statues, and shrines.  (Sadhus are the “holy men” of Hinduism committed to an ascetic life). Shivaist sadhus, usually with horizontal lines on their foreheads, carry a trident in their hands.

Sadhus do not strive for better but strive to grasp the higher worlds.  They are not burned at the stake, like others.  They are usually dressed in clean, catchy orange clothes.  Some demonstrate asanas and collect money from tourists, others quietly listen to a tape recorder with Saiva hymns, others still smoke holy Shivaists hemp and practice yoga.

Opposite the terraces is the playground where Milki Baba, the holy elder, who eats only milk, usually sits.  Above it is a plaque in English “The great saint Milha-baba is sitting here” with a brief biography. You may also witness one of the frequent burial rites in which the dead are being cremated on the riverside under the open sky.

Pigeons Pashupatinath Temple Mandir Kathmandu Nepal World Heritage Site Images
Flying Pigeons

The temple is one of the 275 Paadal Petra Sthalams (sacred abodes of Shiva on the mainland).  Previously, only those who were Hindu by birth were allowed to enter the temple.  The other people had to content themselves with observing the temple from the other side of the river.

However, these rules have been relaxed due to numerous incidents.  If he is in the destiny of the individual, he will begin and complete his journey until reaching these steps without encountering obstructions. In his way, he considers himself to be under the loving grace of Rudra.

A ramble through the sprawling complex leads past centuries-old temples and shrines where the Hindu god Shiva is worshiped.  The imposing main temple of the complex is unfortunately only accessible to Hindus. But also from the outside worth the view of the over-decorated with carvings of Hindu deities façade, the gold, and silver clad portals and the two-story pagoda roof.

All other temple buildings may also be visited by visitors of other religions.  Be sure to pay a visit to the temples of Vasuk and Brahma, which were built in the 9th century.  You should also see the Dharmashila, a ritual stone on which believers make holy vows.

In the Pashupatinath temple, Hindu traditions are lived, so you will run across faithful pilgrims who offer their offerings. And meet colorfully dressed sadhus meditating in colorful robes in front of the temples. At the stone steps on the riverbank, the so-called ghats, you can watch the faithful at the ritual bath and local women washing clothes.

Begger Pashupatinath Temple Mandir Kathmandu Nepal World Heritage Site Images
A Begger on Pashupatinath Temple Area

In addition, there are often pyres that are piled up by the families of the deceased according to the Hindu rituals for cremation.  The dead are then prepared right by the riverside for relatives to cremate in the open air.

Every year, many elderly Hindus make a pilgrimage to Pashupatinath Temple to spend the last weeks of their lives there.  They too are then cremated on the riverbank.

Thousands of Hindus arriving from far away celebrate the feast of Shivaratri every spring.  The sanctuary was classified with the other sights of the Kathmandu valley as early as 1979 as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. And because of the uncontrolled building in 2003, the temple complex itself was added to the Red List of Endangered Objects.

The Temple of Pashupatinath is one of the largest and holiest temples in Nepal.  Recognizable by its golden roof, the temple of Pashupatinath is at the center of a complex that includes other temples, along with other cultural treasures of the Kathmandu Valley.

Traversed by the sacred Bagmati River, on whose banks the faithful perform cremations. This temple is one of the most incredible in Nepal, due to the all-fulfilling fervor that alone is worth a visit.

On the west bank of the river are the main temples, the entrance to the large temple courtyard is closed to non-Hindus. But the complex is clearly visible from the other side of the river, and funeral ceremonies can be observed.

At the temples, there is a house waiting for death, where old people come. And they live there for the last weeks under the supervision of astrologers, who precisely determine the moment of their death.

plz take off your shoes Pashupatinath Temple Mandir Kathmandu Nepal World Heritage Sites Images
Please take off your shoes free

The temple district of Pashupatinath is located on the banks of the opening on the Koshi in the Ganges Bagmati River. About 4 km (drive) east of Kathmandu at an altitude of about 1315 m. It is believed that a sacred site existed here already in pre-Christian times.

The Pashupati Temple was first built in the 5th century and – after destruction in 1343 by Shamsuddin Ilyas Shah. Later founder of the Sultanate of Bengal – under the Malla Dynasty (1201-1769) renewed.  During the earthquake of 2015, some smaller auxiliary shrines collapsed or were damaged.

Here Shiva is worshiped as Pashupati (Pashu = “life”, pati= god).  The actual temple is accessible only to Hindus, but the outer temple district may be accessed by anyone.  The temple forms a pagoda with two roof levels covered with gilded copper.

The four entrance doors are covered with silver plates.  In the Cella (garbhagriha) inside the temple, there are an approximately 1.80 m high four-faced Shiva Lingam with a diameter of about 1.10 m.  It may only be touched by four priests (bhattas), who must always come from the south of India. There are also numerous low-ranking priests (bhandaris) entrusted with auxiliary tasks.

The almost naked or dressed in orange and covered with ashes sadhus are among the emblematic figures of the temple.  These men have renounced life in society.  As believers among the faithful, they focus solely on their prayers to the god Shiva.

tourists Pashupatinath Temple Mandir Kathmandu Nepal World Heritage Sites Image
Tourists on Pashupatinath Temple Area

In the forest that overlooks the temple and on the edge of the Gaths, a myriad of monkeys have chosen their homestead. And are begging passers-by for food, adding to the mystical character of the place. In the depths of the park on the hill is the Gokarna Nath temple, guarded by police, forbidding tourists to retreat from the path to the right and left.

Then to the river around the bend is a large complex of Guheshwari (the vagina temple, it is believed that the vagina of Sati-the first wife of Shiva had dropped here and emerged as the temple).

The Bagmati divides the plant into two large areas.  On the right bank of the Bagmati are the Pashupatinath Temple and the Cremation Sites, the Arya Ghats (cremation chambers of the higher castes). And the Surya Ghats (cremation chambers of the lower castes).  This place has special significance for many believers as a place for the “last rites”. It is considered desirable to have his body burned here.

The corpse, usually shrouded in yellow shawls, is carried to the cremations where a pyre is set up.  Before the incineration, the body is sprayed with the water of the sacred river, or the feet are washed in the water.  The body is then covered from above with damp straw.  If the family can afford it, the precious scented sandalwood is used in addition to normal wood for combustion.

The eldest son then walks around the pyre five times clockwise (pradakshina), corresponding to the sacred number five, which in Hinduism represents the five elements of earth, water, fire, wind, and akasha, the ether.  , he (with the priest) lights the pyre near his head with a straw tuft soaked in liquid butter (ghee).

Pashupatinath Temple Mandir Lord Shiva Kathmandu Nepal World Heritage Site Image
Pashupatinath Temple Kathmandu Nepal

But also other places of the pyre are lit. The dead man’s family and friends remain nearby while the corpse burns, while a man in a white robe with a stick repeatedly straightens the pyre to burn everything.  The dead man’s feet first extend beyond the pyre and are then pushed into the fire as the burn progresses.  After about four hours, the body is burned to ashes.

The ashes and incompletely burned logs are pushed into the river.  Unburnt jewelry etc. is removed from the ashes before. Behind the fires, there are caves for hermits.  Women come to the caves and bring food. On the other side of the temples is a shelter organized by Mother Teresa, where beggars and homeless people receive food.

At the shelter are several posh – Indian temples in the form of candles. Behind the main thing is the place where Hagar Baba and his students feed the animals every day. Pashupatinath – a favorite place where sadhus gather – errant yogis. On the other side of the river are 11 small temples of Shiva with lingas, behind which there are galleries of Shavian lingas and yoni.

There are 108 lingas in the complex.  You climb the stairs to the monkey park, where hundreds of monkeys jump and hang on the branches.  Pashupati is the patron of animals, so the monkeys are comfortable at the temples of the complex.

In earlier times, sometimes more or less voluntarily, the widow of a deceased man followed her husband to death at the stake (sati).  However, this practice, already handed down in Roman sources, has been banned since the 19th century.

The Pashupatinath Temple is the most important Hindu shrine for all Hindus in Nepal and also for many in India and the rest of the world. If you are already in the area, you should also pay a visit to the bustling market square surrounding the temple complex.  There, enterprising merchants offer various religious items – from incense sticks to prayer beads to handmade god figures.

Pashupatinath Temple Mandir Kathmandu Nepal World Heritage Site
Temples Around Pashupatinath Temple

History of Pashupatinath

The tradition claims that this place is revered from time immemorial. And the lingam, which stands in the temple, is miraculous and emerged from the earth by itself.  There are other legends about its appearance. It is about three feet high with four faces.

All these faces have different names and meanings.  The four faces depicted in the Bhu lingam (appearing with itself), also called Chatur-mukh, look at the four directions of the world.  It is believed that there is a fifth face located above the four faces.  The fifth face is invisible, with eyes without eyelids, also known as Nirakar(shapeless). The names of each face of the god Pashupati:

1) Aghor – south facing face

2) Tatpurusha or Jaggannath – face facing east.

3) Vamadeva – a face facing the north.

4) Sadhyojata – a face facing west.

5) The fifth face of the god Pashupati is known as Ishan.  This face is invisible.  This face is the main face of the god Pashupatinath.  This person is also known as Shiva-Shakti.

These faces are also defined as the symbol of the four dharmas (from the most famous pilgrimage sites for Hindus) and the four Vedas (the holy books of the Hindus).  Images of Vishnu, Surya, Devi, and Ganesh are also placed in the shrine of the temple.

In the annals Pashupatinath is first mentioned in 477, included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1979.  The modern main temple was built in the XIX century, on the site of the earlier ones.  The Shiva bull, Nandi, is 300 years older, and the stone lingam is even older.

monkey Pashupatinath Temple Mandir Kathmandu Nepal World Heritage Sites Pic
Monkey on Pashupatinath Temple Area

But not older than the 14th century, because at that time the temple and lingam were destroyed by the Moguls.  On the territory of the complex, you will find more ancient monuments, such as a statue of the Buddha of the 7th century (at the end of the cremation ghats, near the Raj Rajeshwari temple). Or lingas of the 5th century (on the terraces of the eastern bank of the river).

Also in the complex are 108 small linga-temples.  In the northeast corner of the temple courtyard, there is a small pagoda, Vasuki temple, king of the Nagas.  Vasuki above the waist has the shape of a Naga (mythical snake), while the lower part is a tangled of snake bodies.

Be prepared for the fact that you will not find such a number of Shivalingas, symbols of Shiva, in any other temple in Nepal.  The lingam, or linga, is the male sexual organ, which serves as symbolic support for Hindus and embodies the creative power of a deity.

It is not known for sure when Pashupatinath was founded.  According to tradition, it was built by King Pashupreksha of the Somadeva dynasty, in the 3rd century BC. But the earliest historical records date back to the 13th century.  It is likely that the Shiva-Pashupata sect is related to the foundation of the temple.

Pashupati was a tutelage deity of the ancient rulers of the Kathmandu valley. In AD 605 Amshuvarman was favored for having touched the feet of the god.  At the end of the Middle Ages, many imitations of the temple had already been built. Such as one in Bhaktapur (1480), another in Lalitpur (Patan, 1566) and another in Benares (early nineteenth century).

The original temple was repeatedly destroyed and rebuilt. The current main building was erected in 1697 by King Bhupatindra Malla after the former was destroyed by termites.

Around this two-story building, there are countless smaller temples.  These include the complex of Vixnite temples with a 14th century Ram temple and the Guhyeshwari Temple which is mentioned in an 11th-century manuscript.

The priests who carry out the services in this temple are Brahmin priests of South Indian origin for more than 350 years. The priests of Pashupatinath are called Bhattas and the high priest is called Mool Bhatt or Raval.

The high priest reports only to the king (although there is no king in Nepal) and had to inform him about matters related to the temple on a regular basis. It is said that this tradition was initiated by the sage Shankaracharya in the eighth century, who sought a unification of the different states of Bharatam (Unified India) promoting cultural exchange.

Pashupatinath Temple Mandir Kathmandu Nepal World Heritage Site

It was also given place to the Nambudiri Brahmins of Kerala to practice the rituals.  The Maharaja of Travancore selected a priest and sent him to Pashupatinath.

The unique characteristic of this temple is that only four priests can touch the deity. However, this tradition was broken after the historic political revolution in Nepal, with the demolition of the monarchy and the establishment of a secular republic.

The new government allowed the Nepalese priests to worship in the temple, thus abandoning centuries of the old tradition.  There were widespread protests on this issue and many thought it was against the religious tradition.

Beliefs of its origin

There are several stories that deal with the origin of Pashupatinath.  One of them says that Shiva and Parvati arrived in the valley of Kathmandu and on their trip they rested on Bagmati.  Shiva was so impressed by its beauty and by the nearby forest that they decided to become deer and take a walk through this forest.

There are many places in the Kathmandu valley that are identified as places that Shiva visited during this time as a deer.  After a while, the people and the gods began looking for Shiva.  Finally, and after several complications, they found him in the forest, but he refused to abandon it.

What he did announce is that the place where he lived on the shores of Bagmati in the form of a deer would be known as Pashupatinath, the Lord of all Animals.  It is said that everyone who came to the place and saw the lingam that appeared there would not be reborn as an animal.

devotees Pashupatinath Temple Mandir Kathmandu Nepal World Heritage Site Photo
Devotees on Pashupatinath Temple

It is also said that the other gods, in their attempts to bring Shiva back to his usual state, attempted to capture the antelope.  In their attempts, a part of the antelope’s horn broke and was buried in the ground.

Years later, a cow from one of the region’s herders began to soak the land, where a part of Shiva was buried with her milk. When the earth in the area was excavated, a Shiva lingam (representative symbol) was discovered.  This divine part of Lord Shiva became an object of worship and soon a temple was established in the area.

According to Gopalraj Vamsavali, the oldest chronicle in Nepal, the temple was built by Supuspa Deva, a king Linchchhavi. According to the stone inscription erected by Jayadeva XI in the courtyard of Pashupatinath in 753 AD, he was the ruler 39 generations.

Another chronicle reports that the Pashupatinath Temple had the form of a Devalaya (Hindu temple) before Supuspa. Should have had the five-story temple built on the same site.  As time passed, there was a need to repair and reanimate the temple.  It is known that the temple was rebuilt by a medieval king named Shivadeva.  It was then renovated by Ananta Malla, who added a roof.

Another story is about the incarnation of Parvati as Sati, who gave up her life because her father did not respect Shiva.  Afflicted by this loss, Shiva wandered the world carrying her body.

In those places where a piece of her body fell, a temple was established, including one in Guhyeshvari next to the Pashupatinath complex. This procedure is also followed by other temples around India, which were sanctified by Shankaracharya.

Pashupatinath Temple Mandir Lord Shiva Kathmandu Nepal World Heritage Sites Image
Pashupatinath Temple

One version of other legend is told in Nepalamahatmya and in Himvatkhanda. Shiva fled from Varanasi and the other gods and went to Mrigasthali, the forest on the other side of the Bagmati River.  He fell asleep with his consort Parvati in the form of a gazelle.

When the gods discovered him and tried to take him back to Varanasi. Shiva jumped to the other side of the river, where he divided into four pieces one of his horns.  After this, Shiva became manifest as Pashupati (Lord of the Animals) in a four-sided lingam (chaturmukha).

A legend similar to this involves a cow granting desires called Kamadhenu.  This cow had his shelter in a cave of the Chandravan mountain. And every morning went down to the place where the lingam was buried and poured her milk to the ground.

After ten thousand years, some people saw Kamadhenu pouring milk to the ground every day in the same place and began to wonder what that would be.  So they dug the earth and discovered a beautiful shiny lingam. After they had stared at him, the people disappeared into the lingam, freeing themselves from sin and the cycle of rebirth.

With the passage of time, more and more people disappeared in the lingam, which motivated a great concern to Brhama.

In the form of Buddha, Vixnu came from Saurashtra (northeastern India) and meditated on the Mandihatu mountain in the midst of four fires and with the sun as the fifth fire above his head.  The meditation was so intense that it created the Manimati River.

Pashupatinath Temple Mandir Kathmandu Nepal World Heritage Sites Pics
Evening Views from Pashupatinath Temple

Buddha also delighted Parvati, who appeared to him in the form of the Buddhist goddess Vajrayogini and offered the Buddha a gift. Buddha wished there were always Buddhist people in the sacred land of the Kathmandu valley.

Parvati gave the Buddha’s blessing and said that in this holy land of Nepal the devotees of Shiva and Buddhists would live in harmony.  Then Parvati asked the Buddha to place a link at the confluence of the Bagmati and Manimati rivers.  And Buddha then established the Karunikeshvara there.

The gods built a large gold building to stay near Pashupatinath and called it Maheshvarepuri.  The city of gold and rubies was called Pashupatipuri and in its center had the lingam of Pashupatinath shining brightly.  At the end of the Dwapara Yuga, the city of gold became stone, wood, and earth.  In the Kali Yuga, the lingam had buried deep in the ground and the gods returned to live in its skies.

Temple architecture

The Pashupatinath complex lies in the center of the suburban town of Deopatan.  The main temple, Pashupatinath proper, stands in the middle of an open courtyard.  It is a square pagoda, with two ceilings, 23.6 meters high, built on a single-level plinth.

All the characteristics of the so-called Nepalese pagoda style are found in Pashupatinath. The area of ​​Pashupathinath covers 264 hectares, including 518 temples and monuments.  The main temple is located in a fortified courtyard protected by Semi-Military police

Evening Views from Pashupatinath Temple Mandir Kathmandu Nepal World Heritage Site Pictures
Evening Views from Pashupatinath Temple

Architecturally the temple is built in a Nepalese pagoda style, and all the features of a Nepalese pagoda can be seen here as the cubic construction on the beautifully carved wooden beams with wooden reliefs representing members of the family of Shiva.

Such as Parvati, Ganexa, Kumar and the Yoginis, as well as Hanuman, Rama, Sita, Lakshmana and other gods and goddesses of the Ramayana. The two levels of ceilings are copper coated with gold. The temple has four main doors, all covered with silver plates, and a golden pinnacle (Gajur), which is a symbol of religious thought.


Jitendra Sahayogee

I am Jitendra Sahayogee, a writer of 12 Nepali literature books, film director of Maithili film & Nepali short movies, photographer, founder of the media house, designer of some websites and writer & editor of some blogs, has expert knowledge & experiences of Nepalese society, culture, tourist places, travels, business, literature, movies, festivals, celebrations.

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