Pashupatinath temple in Nepal

Celebration of faith: Pashupatinath Mandir in Nepal

Author: Tanuja Rai
Date: 2020-03-26

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Nepal is a stunning, small landlocked country in South Asia. Lying between India and China, this beautiful country sits comfortably on the foothills of the gigantic Himalayas. Eight out of the ten tallest mountains in the world can be found in Nepal, not to forget the tallest mountain in the world, the majestic Mt Everest. Mt Everest is one of the prides of Nepal and is locally called ‘Sagarmatha’.

Apart from the mountains and the picturesque views that it provides, Nepal is well known for its culture, traditions, heritage, and religious places. On every street corner in the capital city of Nepal, you will find a shrine or two. Many ancient temples are situated in Kathmandu, and it is often referred to as the city of temples in Nepal. One of the oldest and holiest of all is Pashupatinath Temple.


> Pashupatinath Temple is a UNESCO Heritage Site. 

> The year is not exactly known but it is believed to have been built around 400 BC. 

> The Pashupatinath Temple Complex comprises the main Pashupatinath temple along with 518 other temples, structures, shrines, and buildings. 

> Pashupatinath Mandir was not always the way it is now. It has been renovated by many kings in the past. 

Pashupatinath Mandir

Pashupatinath Mandir


There are many myths and legends about how the Shiva Lingam came into existence in that area. Some of these legends are the cow legend, Kamadhenu legend, and Licchavi, Devalaya legend of which the most famous of them all is the cow legend. Many people in Nepal believe that Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvathi took the form of an antelope and started wandering deep in the forest. They were so stunned by the beauty of the forest in Nepal that they stayed there for a long time. Other Gods started searching for them and after finding them, they grabbed Lord Shiva or Pashupatinath by his horn when he was in the form of an antelope. The locals of Nepal believe that the horn broke and fell on the ground and as time passed it got buried inside the earth. Centuries later a cow in that area started showering the ground with her milk. When a herdsman dug the earth, he found the horn. The people of Nepal started worshipping it as Shiva Lingam, and hence, the Pashupatinath temple in Nepal was built at the same site and the lingam was placed in the temple.

Lord Kirateshwar idol inside Pashupatinath Mandir


Pashupatinath Mandir in Nepal is an ancient beauty. The 2-storey building has roofs covered with copper and gold sheets. This temple has four doors that are covered with silver sheets and a pinnacle of gold. The exquisitely carved wooden windows and doors still shine as if they are newly made. People believe that Lord Pashupatinath or Lord Shiva blessed the temple and resides there. The inside of Pashupatinath temple has two rooms where the idol of Lord Pashupatinath is placed and a bronze idol of the Nandi bull is kept near the door. The bull named Nandi is believed to be the sacred vehicle or vahana of Pashupatinath. The other temples of Nepal in the surroundings are designed similar to other Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva temples. The main idol in the complex is a stone deity with faces that represent Lord Pashupatinath’s various aspects. These faces are Sadyojata, Vamadeva, Tatpurusha, Aghora, and Ishana; these faces represent five primary elements: space, air, fire, water, and earth. The Shiva idol inside the Mandir is always covered with a golden cover except during prayers. 



The best time to visit Pashupatinath Mandir in Kathmandu is in February. The Pashupatinath Mandir Complex is flooded with devotees and visitors from all around the globe during this month when Shivaratri is celebrated. People who worship Lord Shiva or Lord Pashupatinath during Shivaratri are believed to be blessed by the lord. Grand celebrations and pujas take place in Nepal during this time of the year. One of the common things you will be able to see at Pashupatinath Mandir Complex is the sadhus or the wandering holy men.


Sadhus sitting outside Pashupatinath Mandir in Nepal


Pashupatinath Mandir in Nepal is one of the four important and famous temples in Asia and devotees of Lord Shiva from all around the world come to Nepal to offer prayers and get blessings. During your trip to Nepal, visiting Pashupatinath Mandir along with other temples and ancient structures and buildings in Kathmandu is a must. It is believed that only fortunate people get a chance to visit the complex, and it is believed that whoever prays and circumnavigates these temples with a pure heart will be born again as a human if they have to. 

Pashupatinath Mandir and the complex as a whole is a combination of ancient beauty, tranquillity, and spirituality. Now you wouldn’t want to miss that, would you?



Inner temple: 4 am – 9 pm

To visit lingam: 5 am – 12 pm and 5 pm – 7 pm

Entry Fee

Indian and Nepali nationals: free

Foreign and SAARC Nationals: NPR 1000  

How to Get There

Pashupatinath Mandir is 2 km from Tribhuvan International Airport.