• Last Updated on May 6, 2022

Pashupatinath Temple: The Greatest Hindus' temple in Kathmandu

Located in Nepal, the Pashupatinath Temple is a revered Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is considered one of the most important religious sites in Asia for devotees of Lord Shiva. The temple was originally built in the fifth century and has since been renovated by Malla Kings. Legend has it that the temple has been in existence since the beginning of the millennium, when a Shiva lingam was discovered at the site.

Located on the banks of the Bagmati River, the Pashupatinath Temple is the largest temple complex in Nepal and holds great significance for Hindus. The main temple, built in a pagoda-style, boasts a silver-plated roof and intricate wood carvings. Visitors can also explore the many other temples dedicated to various Hindu and Buddhist deities that surround the Pashupatinath Temple.

The Pashupatinath Temple is a sacred site for Hindus. It is surrounded by the Guheshwori sanctuary, which is dedicated to Shiva's partner, Sati Devi. The temple is known for its raised stages along the river where Hindus perform cremations. Only Hindus are allowed inside the main sanctuary, which houses a Shiva lingam. Outside, there is a large statue of Nandi the bull, who is the vehicle of Shiva. The temple compound also contains many other Shiva lingams. Every spring, the temple hosts the Maha Shivaratri celebration, which attracts thousands of devotees from Nepal, India, and other parts of the world.

The Pashupatinath Temple is just 3 km northwest of Kathmandu, is a must-visit destination for those seeking a blend of religious, cultural, and spiritual experiences. The temple complex includes several other sacred sites, such as Deupatan, Jaya Bageshwori, Gaurighat, Kutumbahal, Gaushala, Pingalasthan, and Sleshmantak Ban. Visitors can explore around 492 temples, 15 Shivalayas (holy places of Lord Shiva), and 12 Jyotirlinga (phallic sanctums) within the area.

Table of Contents

A brief history of Pashupatinath

The construction history of Pashupatinath, the most significant Hindu temple in Nepal, remains unclear due to the lack of documented reports. While the exact date of its construction is unknown, it is believed to have been built centuries ago and has since become a revered site for Hindu devotees.

Pashupatinath, a sacred Hindu temple located in Nepal, has a history dating back to 400 A.D. The original sanctuary was replaced in the late 17th century due to termite damage, and since then, numerous smaller temples have been constructed around the main sanctuary on both banks of the Bagmati River. Today, Pashupatinath remains an important pilgrimage site for Hindus from all over the world.

One of the most well-known legends surrounding the temple's creation tells the story of how Shiva, in the form of a deer, lost one of his antlers while he and his wife were walking along the banks of the Bagmati river. They were so taken with the beauty of the area that they decided to transform themselves into deer and explore the surrounding forests. Over time, the site where Shiva lost his antler became a sacred place, and the temple of Pashupatinath was eventually built there.

According to legend, the temple was built on the site where Lord Shiva, one of the most important deities in Hinduism, was forced to return to his duties by divine beings and humans. However, Shiva refused to leave and a battle ensued, during which he lost one of his antlers. This antler later became the main lingam, or symbol of Shiva, that is worshipped at Pashupatinath. Although this lingam was lost at one point, it was eventually found by a herder whose cow led him to the spot where it was buried.

The temple is believed that the temple was built in the 5th century and has since been a site of pilgrimage for Hindus from all over the world. The temple complex is known for its stunning architecture and intricate carvings, and is a testament to the enduring legacy of Hindu culture and traditions.

Some Interesting Facts about Pashupatinath

The Pashupatinath Temple is a sanctuary committed to Lord Pashupatinath who is also known as Lord Shiva. Situated in the Kathmandu Valley of Nepal, this sanctuary has been recorded as a World Heritage Site on UNESCO's rundown.

Existing since 400 A.D.

Pashupatinath Temple doesn't only hold religious importance, but it also has historical significance as its history dates back from 400 B.C.

The Legend related to its Origin

There is a famous legend related to the origin of the Pashupatinath Temple. As per this legend, every day a cow used to visit this particular spot and offer her milk to the ground. One day, the cow was seen by her owner and got suspicious. Thus, he uncovered the place and found the Jyotirlinga of Lord Shiva. Gradually an ever-increasing number of individuals gathered around the Shiva Lingam to worship, and Lord Pashupatinath got well known while this place turned into a pilgrim spot.

The Structure

Pashupatinath Temple is situated on the Western Bank of waterway Bagmati. This sanctuary is considered a perfect work of art of Hindu design. The fundamental sanctuary comprises of working with bunk rooftop and brilliant tower. It is cubic fit as a fiddle, and the four primary entryways are shrouded in silver sheets. Likewise, the two-storied rooftops had been built from unadulterated copper secured with gold. The primary fascination of this sanctuary is the sparkling Shivalinga and the gigantic brilliant statue of Shiva's Bull, Nandi.

The Lingam

The Lingam at Pashupatinath sanctuary is exceptional. Its uniqueness is because the Lingam is four-faced. The faces are to such an extent that they are towards the four directions. The face facing East is called Tatpurusha, the face facing West is called Sadyojata, the face facing North is called Vamadeva, and the face facing South is called Aghora. The highest part of the Shivling is called Ishan.

Only Hindus can enter

The main sanctuary of the Pashupatinath Temple can be gotten to just by the Hindus. For individuals of every other religion, the various parts of the building are open aside from the primary sanctuary.

Paintings and Sculptures

There are numerous extraordinarily creative artworks and figures in various parts of the sanctuary. On the two sides of every entryway of the sanctuary, there are pictures of numerous Gods and Goddesses and Apsaras. Practically every one of these sketches is done in gold. Every single pillar, which underpins the top of the sanctuary is likewise etched with pictures delineating diverse kinds of sexual postures.

Arya Ghat

Arya Ghat at Pashupatinath sanctuary is of extraordinary significance as this Ghat is the main place close to the sanctuary whose water is viewed as sufficiently consecrated to be brought into the sanctuary. Additionally, this Ghat is viewed as propitious, and hence the individual from Nepal's Royal family as well as the common people are incinerated here.

Nirvana seekers

It is said that Pashupatinath sanctuary is blessed to the point that if you are incinerated on its premises, you will again accept birth as a human paying little heed to the wrongdoings you have done in your lifetime. Along these lines, various older individuals visit this place to spend the most recent couple of long stretches of their lives in the Pashupatinath sanctuary commence.

Open air Cremation

Consistently on the bank of Bagmati River nearby to which Pashupatinath sanctuary is arranged, outside incineration happens. The oldest child of the expired shaves his head and finishes the rituals. Rather than seeming terrible, the incineration appears to be very tranquil.

Unharmed during the 2015 Earthquake

On 25 April 2015, when a seismic tremor of 7.8 extents hit Nepal, it began turning the vast majority of the close-by structures and some of the UNESCO site's legacy locales into the residue. In any case, Pashupatinath Temple which has withstood the trial of time by and by stood tall confronting the debacle.

With only a couple of breaks on the divider, it showed up as a supernatural occurrence structure in all residue and rubble. While the devotee guaranteed it as an indication of perfect power, others are contending that its solid base and design are the primary components that caused the Pashupatinath sanctuary to withstand the impacts of the tremor.


A visit to Pashupatinath Temple is included in Kathmandu Half Day tour or Kathmandu full day tour, Taste of Nepal, Kathmandu Transit tour & Glimpse of Nepal Tour.

Arjun Rijal

Arjun Rijal

Hello, Hi & Namaste from the Himalayas !!!

I am Arjun Rijal, Founder Director of the Outfitter Himalaya Holidays P. Ltd & working as a travel planner/consultant for Nepal, Bhutan, and Tibet Travel. I love hiking, trekking, and traveling.

I have been in most of the trekking regions in Nepal, that include Everest Base Camp, Annapurna Base camp, Annapurna Circuit, Manaslu, and Langtang. I also have travelled to Bhutan, India & planning further travel to many other countries in the world.

Find my writing on traveling, trekking, tours, travel news, and updates about the tourism activities of Nepal, Tibet & Bhutan.

You can also follow me on social media to receive regular news and updates.

Follow on: