The Pashupatinath Temple is considered the oldest Temple in Kathmandu Valley and one of the four most religious places in Asia which are dedicated to Lord Shiva. The Land and temple of Pashupatinath are considered the holiest site. No evidence provides the exact date of the origin of the Statue of Shiva Linga. While the earliest evidence of the Temple's construction dates back to the 4th/5th century, later it was renovated by the Malla kings. The current main temple of the Pashupatinath complex was constructed at the end of the 17th century which replaced the old structure. The Pashupatinath site itself is said to have existed from the very beginning of civilization. People say that the Shiva Linga is not crafted by humans, the place only has discovered by humans at the very beginning of the Kathmandu Civilization.
Pashupatinath complex is the largest temple complex in Nepal that stretches on both sides of the Bagmati River also consider the holy river by the Hindus. The main temple consists of Shiva Linga while other temples dedicated to several Hindu and Buddhist deities surround the main temple of Pashupatinath.
Cremation of the Hindus takes place on the raised platforms known as the Aryaghat along the river. Peoples come to Pashupatinath for the last several weeks of their lives and take their last breath. Peoples come to find the dead in Pashupath Kschetra and seek cremation on the bank of the Bagmati River. Hindus from every corner of the world come here to die. Pashupatinath is a place where the century-old Hindu rituals are practiced in their astonishing initial form that gives the visitors a chance to experience the unique spirit of the Hindu Tradition of Life, Death, and reincarnation. Peoples believe that death at the Pashupatinath is the salvation of the soul. They say dying at Pashupatinath gives them a better life in their next life or the soul will find a place in heaven or the soul will rest in peace. Death in Pashupatinath means peace of soul. In short, Pashupatinath is the last destination of the soul.
This is the shrine where the soul becomes pure, has salvation, and meets God. Pashupatinath is the center of power where one can experience life from birth to death and after-death rituals. This is the best place in the world to learn about life. It teaches them life, death, and reincarnation where you find the entire journey of humans in a single frame. It showcases that whatever you do, one day you have to leave the earth and nothing is going with you, the effort of your whole life and your achievements are nothing matter when it comes to death.
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Daily Rituals at Pashupatinath Temple
Pashupatinath is one of the few living cultural heritage sites in the world. Unlike other museums or cultural sites, Pashupatinath is the concentration of the power and center of energy, the participation of people is always active at all times of the day. There have daily ritual practices that have been followed for century-old.
The daily rituals at Pashupatinath Temple are as follows:
4:00 am: West gate opens for visitors.
8:30 am: After the arrival of Pujaris, the idols of the Lord are bathed and cleaned; clothes and jewelry are changed for the day.
9:30 am: Baal Bhog or breakfast is offered to the Lord.
10:00 am: Then people who want to do Puja are welcome to do so. It is also called Farmayishi Puja, whereby people tell the Pujari to carry out a special Puja for specific reasons. The Puja continues till 1:45 pm.
1:50 pm: Lunch is offered to the Lord in the main Pashupatinath Temple.
2:00 pm: Morning prayers end.
5:15 pm: The evening Pashupati Aarati at the main Pashupati Temple begins.
6:00 pm onward: Bagmati Ganga Aarati
The Ganga Aarati at the bank of River Bagmati is getting more popularity. Many people come to the Bagmati River bank to witness the Bagmati Aarati. River Bagmati is a holy river where prayers bath in the belief of the redemption or washout of sins and salvation of the soul. River Bagmati meets the Ganges later in India. During Aarati Shiva Tandava Bhajan is carried out.
9. 7:00 pm: Doors close.
Apart from the daily rituals, special practices are done as per the special dates of the Lunar Calendar.
More about Pashupatinath
Listed in 1979 AD, Pashupatinath is one of seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Kathmandu Valley. With cultural and religious importance, UNESCO has listed this site as a cultural heritage site and took it as a place of universal importance. The Pashupati Temple area has a number of temples and other religious structures. There are around 492 temples, 15 Shivalayas (Shrine of Lord Shiva), and 12 Jyotirlinga (Phallic shrines) to explore during Pashupatinath sightseeing. To experience the Eastern traditional Hindu ritual practice, Pashupatinath is the best temple. This holiest temple is also the best to explore Nepalese art and architecture. The temple is in Pagoda style. Every Year, especially during the festival of Mahashivaratri and Shrawan Mas( 4th month in BS, from mid-July to mid-August), thousands of people from Nepal and India come to pray to Lord Shiva and find the salvation of the soul and redemption of sin.
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