Heritage walks in Pashupatinath
Many people who are not Hindus, when they think about Pashupatinath there comes the burning pyres on the bank of the river, may be crying nears and dears of the deceased person or the dead body kept in the inclined stone on the bank of the river mostly covered with yellow fabric with or without any writings. This is what you see surficial in Pashupatinath temple as a tourist and this is what the tailored tour will take you.
A bright colorfully dressed group of people with unusual make up and painted face popular by the name Sadhus, holy men or Babas posing for pictures with tourist and asking for money after taking pictures with them or of them equally seems amazing to people as young lads collecting coins with the help of small peace of magnet and string.
The partially burnt and unfinished logs after burning the body is even accumulated to send it to brick kilns and they even made barriers out of bamboo to trap those logs seems no crazier than people continuously taking out the sand in their hand and look for remaining ornaments from the deceased funeral pyre as many Hindu family put some gold or silver ornaments on the mouth of the deceased before they start the incineration.
Lined up priest desperately waiting for family who has to organize different type of ritual even pretend to be astrologist and palm readers to foreigners and invite them to know their future with their limited English is also very funny to many people.
If Hindus specially of Indian origin think of Pashupatinath they think of worshipping the famous shrine of Shiva, goes bare footed to the temple, queue up few minutes and reach the door of the main shrine, handover offering to the priest’s assistants, walk around the temple, visit Basuki and Bhairav temple as well as going around the Shiva Lingas. They even think about people offering them to organize different types of worship like Rudripath or hawan or any other minor Pujas and as they walk back take Rudrakhsya as souvenirs or memory and if they have thicker pocket the original quartz made Shivalinga from the shops nearby the temple.
If Nepalese think about Pashupatinath Temple it’s a place to go during Shivaratri festival, women’s day or Tij festival, Janai Purnima to get a sacred thread from Brahmans or Bala Chaturdashi to offer different types of grains on the name of the deceased member in the family.
Some elders from the society who leave nearby the temple go every morning to the temple and shout “Jay Bhole” so all the sins they have committed Bholenath will forgive, they will collect merit for the next life and when they die, they will go to Shiva’s realm or Vishnu’s realm Baikuntha.
Young population from Kathmandu don’t bother taking out the shoes and hang around the open space nearby the temple complex, some sort of dating, chatting with their soul mates and basking in the sun.
Unemployed gang from different part who are looking for employment abroad and doing the documentation and who are waiting for final call for the departure to different destination also make the Pashupatinath as a beautiful hang out place as the complex is located nearby the airport.
Budget Indian Pilgrimage visitors often seems cooking and drying their laundry on the bank of the river where they park their bus.
All the above is true in case of the Pashupatinath temple and that’s up to individual how they sense one thing over other but the author’s motive is to tell about normal foreign visitor who come here as a tourist and do sight seeing of the Pashupatinath area.
Pashupatinath is always remained as holy shrine for Hindus and there is different area or entrance gate to get in. Although foreigners are not allowed to go in the main temple area they can go up to the main entrance to the temple and they can take their shoes up to the main entrance and take picture of the big bull who blocks the view of the main altar or worship place. Depending with lunar calendar and lunar month different type of rituals are practiced in the area which is always taken part outside the main shrine. Observing and understanding those rituals is of great interest to the foreigners.
Staying on the bank of the river and see the final rituals before they put the body on the funeral pyre is of very new thing many foreigners have never seen before.
Staying on the bank of the river to observe how they take the body, make the pyre, take the deceased around the pyre before put in the pyre, the son and relatives of the deceased move around the pyre, prepare the fire and where they start the fire are of great concern for people who has never seen this can be observed here.
Cornea excision center still exist here to take out the cornea of the deceased person if they have signed to donate the cornea before they die.
An observation deck, a raised platform from where one can see the whole complex including main temple with better vista of everything. Diligent guides with ample of time might go up to Gorakhanath temple and see the small shiva shrines around.
A regular tourist can cross the river and go up to the main entrance to the temple if they have entered the complex from south west of the complex or Tilganga entrance.
All the things one can see in the video down here is the area where tourist is allowed and pictures are O.K. where we have made the videos. If you fond of visiting this place please book your trip with professional team from Himalayan Travel Consultant and we have our day tours that explains about the day activities which can be done in Kathmandu.