Pashupatinath Temple, Kathmandu

The famous temple of Lord Pashupatinath lies on the right bank of holy river, Bagmati. It is near about 5km, north-east of Kathmandu. Gopal Vamshavali, the oldest ever chronicle in Nepal, states that the temple was built by Susupadev, a Lichhavi king, who ruled around 464-505 AD. However, another ancient chronicle states that this temple was in the Linga shaped Devalaya before Supuspadev constructed a five storied temple in this place. The temple was renovated at different period of Shivasimha Malla (1578-1620 AD). Later it was renovated two times: in 1674 and in 1697 AD.

The temple is square shaped and it is in pagoda style. It stands in the middle of the specious courtyard. It has four gold gilt doors on all the four sides and all the available space is filled with carvings and paintings even the struts depict various deities in various postures.

Around the temple of Pashupatinath there are other smaller temples such as: Vasuki, Chandeshwor and Kirtimukha Bhairava (7th century), the temple of Brhama (9th Century), Kotilingeswor, the temple Unmatta Bhairava, Muktimandap, Radha Krishna and Partiveswor (1470-1678 AD).

According to the Hindu scriptures Pashupatinath is one of the most important places of pilgrimage. As the literal meaning of the word “Pashupatinath” is lord of all the animals of the universe, it is supposed to have control over all the living beings, human and non human alike. Vedas and Puranas (sacred books of Hindus) elaborately described the four faced lingers that enshrines the sanctum of the temple. The four faces are described as symbol of four Dhaams (four holiest places of the Hindu pilgrimage) and four Vedas (sacred books of Hindus). For these reasons pilgrims from different parts of the world flock in this place in all the seasons. The visitors can be counted in thousands every day and in lacks during the special occasions like Maha Shivaratri.

The significance of the place is recognized in the international level too. Pashupati area is included in the list of world cultural heritage.

This Article and upcoming posts are extracted from the book, TOURIST INFORMATION DIRECTORY, 1997. by my Late Father Journalist, Sociologist & Anthropologists, Er. Ramesh Chandra Bandhu Bhattarai.


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