Skip to main content

Recollections of a holy visit to Pashupatinath Temple in Kathmandu, Nepal.

After an enchanting road trip from Raxaul to Kathmandu we reached the hotel where we booked accommodation, in the evening. As it was an 8 hours road trip we had dinner and went to bed early. It was the month of October and the weather was cool. Our Day 1 itinerary included a visit to the famous Pashupatinath temple.

About Nepal and Kathmandu

Nepal is a landlocked country in the Southern Asia. It is mainly located in the Himalayas bordering North and North-East India. Kathmandu is the capital city of Nepal and is at an altitude of 4,600 feet above sea level. The city lies in the Kathmandu Valley of central Nepal in the Himalayan hill region. The city experiences a subtropical climate with warm days and cool nights.

A majority of the people in Kathmandu follow Hinduism. The local people speak Hindi fluently. Buddhism is also followed by the people of Nepal.

About Pashupatinath Temple

Pashupatinath temple in Kathmandu, Nepal is one of the most sacred Hindu temples dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is an ancient 8th century temple complex located on the banks of Bagmati River. This age-old temple is designated as World Heritage site by the UNESCO (United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization).

A divinely visit to the world famous Pashupatinath temple (Shiva temple) is the dream of a majority of Hindus across the world.

At the entrance of the temple, there is a row of shops selling various pooja materials like 'spatika lingam', 'rudrakshas' etc. That is quite attractive and luring to shopping sprees like me. This 8th century temple under went renovations. At the West gate entrance, there is an imposing 'Nandi' (the divine bull) with gold coating, on a raised platform facing 'Shiva Lingam'.

The main temple of Pashupatinath has a two-storeyed roof made of copper with a golden spire. There are four main doors covered with silver sheets. The temple is decorated with wooden sculptures.

Best time to visit the temple

Pashupatinath temple opens every day at 4 a.m and closes at 12 noon. In the evenings it remains open from 5 p.m to 9 p.m. The best time to visit the temple is either early in the morning or late evenings as there will be less crowd during this time of the day.

Most of the Shiva temples in India have only one main entrance leading to the 'garbha griha'. But in Pashupatinath temple, the 'garbha griha' i.e sanctum sanctorum is square shaped with four entrance doors facing four directions. Devotees moving in lines can have 'darshan' from all the four entrances. There are priests at each of these four main entrances. Devotees can give their offerings like 'bel' leaves, flower garland etc, to the priests for performing pooja. By paying few extra bucks to the priests, devotees can also perform 'ksheerabhishekam' i.e pouring of milk on the 'lingam' in their name.

During our visit to the temple (years before the 2015 devastating earthquake) we paid Rs.100/- (now, the rate may vary) and the priest placed a garland of  54 'panchamukha rudrakshas' (5 slits / faces) on the 'lingam' and performed 'ksheerabhishekam'. The 'rudraksha mala' was given back to us. There is a belief that possessing the 'rudraksha mala' bought in Pashupatinath temple together with a similar 'mala' with 54 rudrakshas bought from Kedarnath (together these make 108 rudrakshas) is good.

The main Shiva Lingam is about 3-4 feet tall. It is a 'jyotirlinga' and is believed to be a 'swayambhu' one i.e self appeared. There are 4 faces on the 'lingam' each of which faces each of the 4 directions and each with a different name.
  1. The face that faces east is known as 'Tatpurusha'
  2. The South facing face is known as 'Aghora'
  3. The West facing face is 'Sadjyota' and
  4. The North facing face is known as 'Vamadeva'.
  5. And the top part of the lingam faces the sky.
Pilgrims move around the temple complex after the 'divine darshan' of Pashupatinath. There are around 30 small temples all around. The shrine of 'Kala Bhairava' is very prominent. The big idol of 'Kala Bhairava' is fully made of bronze.

On the whole it would be a sacred experience for Hindus and Shaivites in particular, to visit the ancient temple of Pasupatinath. The temple is located on the banks of River Bagamati.

Mythological story

There is a story in connection with the temple which goes like this:

Once Lord Shiva left His divinely abode Mt Kailash and while wandering, He was attracted by this peaceful valley in Kathmandu. He stayed in this valley in the disguise of a deer, became famous over a period of time and thus became the Lord of Animals i.e 'Pashupati Nath'. When the gods felt His absence, they identified the majestic dear as Lord Shiva.

A holy visit to this wonderful temple is something that is unforgettable in life.

Places to visit in Kathmandu

  1. Buddha Nilakantha temple.
  2. Swayambhunath
  3. Boudhanath
  4. Durbar Square
After going round the temple we rested for a while. Outside the temple there is a row of shops selling rudraksha and other such pooja materials. We did small shopping and then proceeded to yet another important Hindu temple - Budhanilakantha temple

Popular posts from this blog

Farewell Speech By School Principal to Outgoing Students

Author Reserves All Rights.
Listen to the speech in my YouTube Channel:
This sample speech would be helpful for the school principal to deliver on the occasion of school farewell day party.

Respected teachers and my dear students,

Good Morning / Good Afternoon to each one present here and a very warm welcome to you to the school farewell party.

It's a nostalgic feeling as I remember my student life in school and my school farewell party. I am sure we all have mixed feelings on this day which is a blend of joy and sadness. On one hand you feel enthusiastic as you will be stepping into a completely new different world where you will find relatively more freedom than in a school life. While on the other hand you will feel sad as you have to depart from your school / classmates.

My dear friends the time has come to bid you all farewell with a heavy heart from this esteemed institution which protected you, cared for you, supported you and guided you all these years.

The institution has…

Lyrics And Meaning Of Ramadasu Keertana - Paluke Bangaramayena Kodandapani

Raagam : Ananda Bhairavi
Taalam : Aadi

Paluke bangaramayena Kodandapani - 2

paluke bangaramaye pilachina palukavemi - 2
kalalo nee nama smarana marava chakkani tandri

Concise meaning - The agony of Bhakta Ramadas is reflected in this keertana. Sri Rama is referred as Kodandapani (the wielder of bow) in this song. Ramadasu questions Rama why He (Rama) is not answering to his (Ramadasu) prayers though he (Ramadas) did not forget to chant His (Rama) name in his (Ramadasu) dreams?

Yenta vedina gani suntaina daya raadu - 2
pantamu seyaga nenentati vaadanu tandri - 2

Concise meaning - Ramadasu says why Rama is not showing mercy on him in spite of his repeated requests. He (Ramadasu) mentions that he is an ordinary man and how can he show his stubbornness with god.

Iruvuga isukalona poralina udata bhakti - 2
karuninchi brochitivani nera nammitini tandri - 2

Concise meaning - Ramadasu says that how can he believe that Rama was merciful to the small creature / squirrel which showed its devotion by…

Lyrics and meaning of Brahmamokkate Parabrahmamokkate

This Keertana is one of the best and most popular compositions of Saint Annamayya in which he describes the universal truth of oneness and omnipresence of God in all the creatures alike. The Keertana is sung in Bouli / Mayamalava Goula Ragam.

Pallavi
Tandanana Ahi Tandanana Pure Tandanana Bhala Tandanana
Brahmamokkate Parabrahma Mokkate Prabrahmamokkate Prabrahmamokkate

Meaning:
The word 'tandanana' is a slang used in the local folklore to give a rhythmic punch to the folk music. While the words 'ahi' 'pure' and 'bhala' are words of appreciation in the local language (different dialects of Telugu). The second line describes the oneness of God.

Charanam
Kanduvagu Heenadhikamu Lindu Levu Andariki Srihare Antaratma
Indulo Jantu Kulaminta Nokkate Andariki Srihare Antaratma

Meaning:
There is no class distinction like high or low and it is Sri Hari (the Supreme God) who dwells in all the beings. There is even no distinction among the creatures as it is He who dw…

Labels

Show more