Prayers by the sacred river
If you are looking to immerse in the religious culture and tradition of Nepal then one way to do it right is by visiting the Pashupatinath temple and experiencing an enchanting evening by the riverbanks. The Pashupatinath sanctuary is popular amongst pilgrims, devotees, and tourists. Every year millions flock to visit one of the most sacred Shiva temples in Nepal. Despite the crowds, there is much to explore here at Pashupatinath, the unimaginable and spiritual side of it.
The Nepali Pagoda-style temple was built centuries ago, the earliest evidence dates back to 400 AD. Dedicated to Lord Shiva – one of the most powerful gods of the Hindu pantheon, the vicinity is famous for its architecture.
The four silver plated doors, housed under two gold gilded roofs is the signature aesthetic of the main sanctum. A UNESCO Cultural World Heritage Site, it also has open spaces for you to explore; with numerous smaller shrines and a deer sanctuary. Although the main holy shrine does not permit non-Hindus to enter, from across the river you can still get a panoramic view.
The holy abode of Shiva has another magical side to it. Find your inner self by the banks of Bagmati, the colourful evening slowly unfolds into a transcending experience. The holy ritual orchestrated by priests is open to devotees and visitors alike.
On Mondays, you can see more followers huddle near the river to join in worship, as it is said to be an auspicious day to pray. With its growing popularity, you will find yourself surrounded by hordes of spectators who come to watch the evening ceremony, especially during Shivaratri and Haritalika Teej among others.
The experience of observing the holy event progress is both intriguing and divine. It could be the allure of the Aarati, the hymns or just the atmosphere that makes you forget your everyday grind. The devoted priests light wicks soaked in ghee, which engulfs the vessel in a show of flames.
While chanting mantras the priests carefully raise the lamps and wave these holy offerings to the lord. The joyful devotees join in by singing Bhajans (religious songs), praising the mighty Shiva. Prayers of humility and gratitude are showered to mark the end of the ritual. The extraordinary celebration touches upon the religion and culture of the Hindu community. Join in the Aarati and experience an unforgettable account.