The Pashupatinath Temple is a famous, sacred Hindu temple dedicated to Pashupatinath and is located on the banks of the Bagmati River 5 kilometres north-east of Kathmandu Valley in the eastern part of Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal.
What is the Pashupatinath Temple?
This temple is considered one of the sacred temples of Hindu faith. The temple serves as the seat of the national deity, Lord Pashupatinath. This temple complex is on UNESCO World Heritage Sites’s list Since 1979. This “extensive Hindu temple precinct” is a “sprawling collection of temples, ashrams, images and inscriptions raised over the centuries along the banks of the sacred Bagmati river” and is included as one of the seven monument groups in UNESCO’s designation of Kathmandu Valley as a cultural heritage site. One of the major Festivals of the temple is Maha Shivaratri on which day over 800,000 devotees visit here.
The temple was erected anew in the 15th century by Lichhavi King Shupuspa after the previous building was consumed by termites. Over time, countless further temples have been erected around this two -storied temple. These include the Vaishnava temple complex with a Ram temple from the 14th century and the Guhyeshwari Temple mentioned in an 11th-century manuscript.
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, the Lord of all Pashus, which are living as well as non-living beings. Pashupatinath Temple’s existence dates back to 400 B.C. There are many legends describing as to how the temple of Lord Aalok Pashupatinath came to existence here.
The Cow Legend: Legend says that Lord 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 worshipped as a linga but over time it was buried and lost. Centuries later astonished herdsmen found one of his cows showering the earth with milk. Digging deep at the site, he discovered the divine linga of Pashupatinath.
Image: By Fares Nimri
Text: Wikipedia contributors. “Pashupatinath Temple.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 15 Oct. 2017. Web. 4 Nov. 2017.