The Pashupatinath Temple is the oldest Hindu Temple in Nepal. Built in the 5th century in the Pagoda style of architecture, Pashupatinath Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple is considered to have the largest temple complex in the country. It has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979.
According to mythology, in order to take a break from cosmic duties and enjoy earthly lives, the gods sometimes impersonated as animals, birds, or humans. Once upon a time, Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati transformed themselves into deer and landed in the forest regions of Nepal. They were so fascinated by the magnificence of the land that they decided to stay forever on the banks of the Bagmati River. Lord Shiva refused to come when other gods and goddesses decided to take them on a cosmic mission. They tried to bring them back by force as they had no other choice. Lord Shiva lost one of his horns in the battle which was first worshipped as the Lingam in the Pashupati Nath Temple. The lingam was discovered from Mother Earth and is thought to have been lost for many years. Ultimately Kamadhenu (a god in cow’s form) came to earth and poured milk into the surrounding soil and the lingam was recovered. The locals reclaimed the lingam and built a wooden temple.
The Pashupatinath Temple is situated on the western bank of the Bagmati River on the eastern outskirts of Kathmandu in Nepal. The temple is at a 15-20 minute drive from Durbar Square of Kathmandu.
The Pashupatinath Temple is a splendid wooden temple that is said to grant wishes. People who die at the Pashupatinath Temple are believed to be reborn as humans, regardless of any wrongdoings that they might have committed which may have aggravated their karma. The astrologer of the temple can predict the exact date of his/her death. If you are drawn to places where the spirit of death is felt, consider Pashupatinath as her first stop. Hence one can find people performing the last rituals and cremation near this temple of Lord Shiva.
According to local tradition, only Hindus can enter the inner sanctum of the Pashupatinath Temple, which contains the Shiva Linga. There are hundreds of shiv lingams and over 500 smaller shrines of various Hindu deities around the temple complex.
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