Pashupatinath Temple in Kathmandu, Nepal, is one of the biggest Shiva Temples in the world. The temple is located on the banks the Bagmati River in the capital of Nepal, Kathmandu. Lord Pashupatinath is considered as the national deity of Nepal and the temple is listed in UNESCO World Heritage Sites list. Only Hindus (mainly Nepalis and Indians) are allowed into the temple.
This is the most sacred temples among all Shiva temples in the world. The presiding deity of the temple, Lord Pashipatinath idol is of black stone about six feet height.
Legend associated with Pashupatinath Temple
The legend associated with Pashupatinath temple is mentioned in Nepal Mahatmya and Himvatkhanda. When Lord Shiva wanted to get rid of all the responsibilities, he left Mount Kailash and found Kathmandu valley to live peacefully. To hide from the Gods he incarnated as Pashupati, Lord of Animals, and lived happily for some time. Then, gods recognized him as Lord Shiva; they went to Lord Vishnu and prayed to him to get back Shiva to Mt. Kailash. Pashupatinath turned himself as a deer to not get identified by Vishnu. Vishnu fought with the deer and broke his horns into pieces. After this incident, Lord Vishnu installed the pieces of the horns as Shivling at the river bank of Bagmati and worshipped. As the ages went, the temple was buried in the soil.
When a cow sprinkled her milk over the place and was digging the soil, the cowherds came and dug the soil and found Shivlingas there. They have constructed a temple and installed the Shivlingas with utmost devotion. This is the legend of Pashupathinath Temple of Kathmandu.
Pashupatinath Temple Architecture
Pashupatinath Temple is constructed in Pagoda style of architecture. The beautiful cubic constructions, magnificently carved wooden rafters, and copper and gold coverings have made the temple one of the finest religious constructions in the world. The temple has four doors and all of them are plated with silver coating. The gold plated Nandi at the western door is another attraction for the temple.
Important Festivals at Pashupatinath Temple, Kathmandu
Maha Shivratri, Shravan Somvar Shivling Puja, Kartik Maas Shiv Pooja, Pradosh Vrat and Magh Maas Shiv pooja are the important festivals celebrated at Pashupatinath Temple, Kathmandu.