PASHUPATINATH TEMPLE

Overview

Pashupatinath temple (secred Temple of Lord Shiva)

The complex includes 518 temples, buildings, and structures. The main temple is designed as a pagoda
structure, located within the fortified courtyard, and guarded by Nepalese military force and semi-
military Nepali police. Features of the main pagoda include carved wooden rafters, cubic sculptures, with
two-level roofs covered with copper and gold sheets. Four main doors to the pagoda are covered with
silver sheets, while the pinnacle is gold.
The temple has two interior rooms where the Pashupatinath (AKA Shiva) idol is placed. Near the temple’s
western door stands a bronze statue of Nandi bull, the sacred vehicle or vahana of Shiva. Temples in the
complex are designed in Vaishnav (Vishnu) and Shaiva (Shiva) tradition. The main idol is a stone deity
with four faces representing Shiva’s various aspects, Sadyojata (or Barun), Vamadeva (or
Ardhanareshwara), Tatpurusha, Aghora & Ishana (imaginative). Facing the four directions as well as
zenith, they represent the five primary elements (earth, water, air, light, and ether).
Unlike other Shiva lingams in India and Nepal, this Pashupati Shiva idol is always in its golden cover
except during prayer. Pouring milk and water from the Ganges river (ganga jal) which are standard acts
of Hindu ritualistic worship is possible only during the abhisheka prayer times and conducted only by the
main priests. The Pashupatinath idol can be touched only by the main Bhatt priests while the Bhandari
priests assist the Bhatt priests during daily pooja worship rituals.

Detail Itinenary