Pashupatinath temple was built in the form of Nepalese pagoda. The roofs are made with two layers of copper and gold. Now, it has become one of the main tourist attraction of Nepal. These temples draw devotees and sadhus from all over the Indian subcontinent. Many religious festivals are held here all around the year, and Maha Shivaratri is one of the major festivals. In Maha Shivaratri, more than 800000 sadhus and devotees visit the temple.
Pashupatinath “Mandir” Complex:
The complex yard has 264 hectares of land with 518 temples and monuments. The complex has four doors in four directions.The western door is the main door, and the other three doors are kept open during regular time. A statue of Bull “Nandi” made of bronze and gold, stands at the front of the western door. This statue was built about 300 years ago. Inside the temple, there are four images of the head of Pashupati which is said to be even older than the bull statue. Mughal invaders destroyed more old images.
The main temple of Pashupatinath is a masterpiece of Hindu architecture. It looks like a cubic construction with four doors. There are many platforms for funeral pyres in both sides of the river.
There are many temples and shrines in the inner compound. The most famous temples of the central complex are Vasuki Nath temple, Surya Narayan temple, and Unmatta Bhairav temple. And the main shrines are Budanil Kantha shrine, Kirtimukh bhairav shrine, and 184 Shivaling Shrines. There are a significant number of temples and shrines also in the outer compound. Ram Mandir and Virat Swaroop temple are located at the outer complex. 12 Jyotirlinga, Pandra Shivalaya, and Guhyeshwari Temples are also big and located in the outer compound. The visitor can visit the outer complex to enjoy the religious activity.
In 2015, the temple was damaged by the earthquake. The main temple is standing, but the quake destroyed some other buildings.
Temple History and Culture:
There is no exact information about Pashupatinath construction date. Some evidence shows that the temple was built in 400 A.D. The main temple complex had been constructed in the last of the 17th century. Termites destroyed the previous temple complex. Many other temples were built on both sides of Holy Bagmati River during the last few centuries. Maximum of the temples are devoted to Shiva, and most of them are made of stone. There are many stories and legends about the temples. It is said that who died in Pashupatinath temple is are reborn as a human. The legends behind the temples are known as “the Cow Legend,” “the Devalaya Legend,” “the Lichchhavi Legend.”
There are many stories about the Lord Pashupatinath. Legends say that Shiva and his wife once were traveling on the banks of Bagmati river. They were so amazed by the beauty of the site that they changed themselves into deer and walked into the forest. After a while, gods had decided to return them in their normal form to perform their duties, but they refused. Then they forced Shiva, and, Shiva lost one of his horns in the fight.
It was found after a period. Then the Hindus started to worship it. A story says that a wish-fulfilling cow Kamadhenu began to live in Chandravan mountain. Every day the cow went down and poured its milk in a place. After few years, people discovered that it poured milk in the same place every day. They wanted to find out about the matter, and they found a lingam when they removed the soil From then on they started worshiping it.
Many rulers reconstructed the temple. King Shivadeva rebuilt it from 1099 to 1126 A.D. and reconstructed many times after that. In this temple, century-old Hindu rituals are practiced in their original forms.
The temples the main idol is a Mukhalinga. It is 1 meter high and faces in four directions. Four directions are- north, west, south, east and Zenith, and they indicate the five elements earth, water, air, light, and either.
Only four priests can touch the main idol, and all of them comes from South India. In main temples, non-Hindus are not allowed. The assistant of the priest is called Bhandari who clean the temple. The assistant priest is selected by the Raj Guru of Pashupatinath Temple.
Only, Hindus can enter the main temple, but travelers and visitor can visit the other buildings. You can enjoy the beauty of the main temple from the eastern bank of Holy Bagmati River.
How to reach Pashupatinath Temle and how much does it:
Pashupatinath temple is not very far from the Tribhuvan International Airport (main airport of Nepal). It’s about 2.1 kilometers (Via Ring Road) away from the airport. The temple is also not far from the center of Kathmandu. It’s about 2.3 kilometers (via Pashupati road) from the city center. You can go to Pashupatinath Mandir in Nepal by local transport or hire a taxi. I think you should avoid the local bus because they are overcrowded. You should take a taxi for the journey.
The trip can take about 15 minutes from the city center and airport it will take around 30 minutes if the road is free. But if you got stuck in the traffic jam it can take some extra time. The taxi can cost you about $15 with the waiting charge. But don’t keep your taxi waiting while you are visiting the temple. It can cost you a lot. If you want to take a local taxi to Pashupatinath and keep it for the return trip while you are visiting, it will cost you several times more. It will be better for you, to hire another taxi after finish your stay.
Morning and the evening are the best time for a visitor to visit the temple. Temple authority open the gate for the travelers at 4 am and close the gate at 7 pm. As visitors from another religion are not allowed in the main temple complex, you can enjoy the beauty of the main temple from the outside. You will need to buy a ticket to get in the temple. Foreigner has to pay 1000 Nepalese rupees which are equivalent to $10.
Quick Tips: You can hire a tourist guide to show you around the temple and describe the history, culture, and rituals of the temple. Hiring a guide will cost you about $10 to $15. You can manage a tourist guide from the hotel you are staying.
There are many suitable hotels near the Pashupatinath Temple. You can stay in a hotel near the airport or any location of the Kathmandu city. There are many 5 star modern hotels in Kathmandu. These hotels are most suitable for the visitors. If you want a pleasant stay during your holiday trip, you can stay in one of them.
A short list of 5-star hotels that located near the temple given below:
- Hyatt Regency Kathmandu: Best 5-star hotel in Kathmandu. It is famous for the luxury and comfortable staying. 1 mile away from the temple.
- Hotel Yak & Yeti: located at 1.8 miles away from Pashupatinath with all 5-star hotel facilities.
- Crowne Plaza Kathmandu: 1.2 miles away from the temple.
- The Everest Hotel: 1.7 miles away from the Pashupatinath temple.
- Radisson Hotel Kathmandu: 1.9 miles away from the Pashupatinath Temple.
- Dwarika’s Hotel: this 5-star hotel is 0.5 kilometers away from the Pashupatinath temple.
- Shangri-La Hotel Kathmandu: 1.9 miles from the Pashupatinath temple.
These seven hotels are the most famous and luxury hotels near the Pashupatinath Temple. If you want a luxurious and world class staying, you can book any one of them.
There also have many 3 star hotels in Kathmandu, their hospitality, and facilities are also good. If you are looking for a low-cost hotel, you can stay there.
Here is the list of 3 stars hotels given below that are located near the Pashupatinath temple:
- Hotel Shanker
2. Ambassador Garden Home
3. Dalai-La Boutique Hotel
4. Hotel Tibet International
5. Hotel Encounter Nepal
6. Kantipur Temple House
7. Hotel Mums Home Pvt Ltd
8. Hotel Happy Home
9. Kathmandu Grand Hotel
10. Hotel Temple Inn
Quick Tips: If you are planning to stay a long time and want to enjoy the Nepalese culture and tradition deeply then you can rent a local house or apartment. You can use AIRBNB or BOOKING to rent local houses and Flats. It’s a hospitality service that enables people to rent or lease vacation rentals, apartment rentals, homestays, hostel beds. It can help you to find out a suitable house, flat or apartment and saves your money.
Traditional food in Nepal:
A traveler should enjoy the local food of the traveling area, that can bring you a whole new taste and experience. As the people are divided into many tribes, their tradition, culture, and food habits are different. You can enjoy lots of local foods in the restaurants.
Dal Bhat Tarkary: Dal Bhat Tarkary is the most popular food all over Nepal. This is a wholesome meal that is served with boiled rice, lentils, and curry. It can be a balanced diet for a traveler.
Momo: Momo is available in most restaurants in Nepal. Momo is made with vegetable and meat. There are different types of momo. Such as Chicken Momo, Lamb Momo, Pork Momo and vegetable momo. Momo made with buffalo meat are very famous. This food is served with chatni and can be steamed or fried.
Alu Tama: Alu Tama is a traditional food made with blended potato and bamboo shoots. It tastes sour, but if you add some yogurt, it helps to balance the strong taste of bamboo.
Thukpa: thukpa is another traditional food in Nepal. It’s a kind of noodle soup that contain vegetable and a small piece of meat. The Green Organic Café serves the best quality Thukpa.
Sel Roti: it is an ancient food of the hilly region made with liquid rice flour mixed with spices. It is a perfect snack. It tests better with yogurt.
There are also many other traditional foods you can enjoy in Nepal. Besides them, Chinese, Indian, Italian, Tibetan, French, European and Western foods are available in Kathmandu.
There are many famous restaurants in Kathmandu. Their hospitality and food quality is high. You can have delicious traditional foods in these restaurants. You can go for lunch or dinner at any restaurants without any hesitation.
Top rated restaurants list in Kathmandu:
1. Blueberry Kitchen & Coffee Shop
2. The Old House
3. Dwarika’s Hotel
4. Yangling Tibetan Restaurant
5. Krishnarpan Restaurant
6. Kaiser Café Restaurant & Bar
7. Rosemary Kitchen & Coffee Shop
8. Or2k Restaurant
9. Use Restaurant
10. Maharaja Restaurant & Bar.
Tips for the visitors in Nepal:
When you are traveling in Nepal, you must obey the rules and regulation. As a foreigner, you should show some respect for the people and their tradition.
Listed below are few things to keep in mind while you are routing through Nepal:
1. Do not rush alone: when you are traveling in Nepal, try to hire a tourist guide. The guide will help you to get more information about the Nepalese Culture. Moreover, you will get a good company.
- Be careful about the food: Take food in the healthy restaurant. Make sure whether a new food will suit your body before trying it. Drink boiled water and avoid raw vegetable.
- Don’t give money to the begger.bigger. You can donate money to a charity.
- Don’t touch anyone’s head and place your feet bottom towards people. It considered rude in Nepal.
- Be alert about the strike. It can strike you unnoticed anywhere. Read the newspaper headline at least for the news update.
- Do not carry marijuana or consume it. Marijuana is illegal in Nepal. 7. After 10 pm you have to pay double for the taxi. It is a commonly accepted norm.
- Avoid street food. That can be unhealthy and cause stomach disorder.
- Don’t show food to the monkey in the temple. Sometimes they are snatching the bag.
- Don’t try to enter in the Pashupatinath Temples main complex. Non-Hindus are not allowed in the main temple.
In this Subcontinent Nepal is one of the best places for tourism. Its culture and tradition are rich. Not only Pashupatinath but also you can visit other regions of Nepal like Bhaktapur, Boudhanath Stupa (Bodhnath), Pokhara, Annapurna Region, Chitwan National Park, Trekking in the Langtang Region, Swayambhunath (Monkey Temple), Everest and the Trek to Base Camp, Lumbini, Helambu Trek. Nepal is one of the best places to spend your vacation.