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Guide to Pashupatinath

The oldest Hindu temple in Kathmandu filled with burning ghats & sadhus
Updated: June 20th 2016 | Nepal travel guides


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must see highlights - entrance fees- how to get there - tips
 

About Pashupatinath


Pashupatinath is located along the banks of the Bagmati River in the eastern part of Kathmandu city, close to Kathmandu airport. Within the complex is the famous Pashupatinath Temple the oldest hindu temple in Nepal dating back to the 5th century.

While the main Pashupatinath temple interior is off limits to non-hindus (foreigners) there's quite a bit to see and experience around the rest of the area. Ritual cremations occur daily along the riverside and a can be a sight to behold for those who have not seen hindu cremations before.

While on the opposite side of the river are a host of smaller stupas (chaityas) where mystic Sadhus often gather.

Did you know?

The original temple was destroyed by termites and the new one was reconstructed over it in the 17th century.

Legend has it that Pashupatinath came about when Lord Shiva stopped for a rest in the area and took the form of a deer. He lived the area so much he did not want to leave. Shiva then became known as Pashupatinath, Lord of all Animals. Legend then grew that whoever came there to worship him would not be reborn as an animal.

Every year between February/March there's a festival to celebrate Lord Shiva known as Shivaratri (check out the post to find out what to expect). The dates change annually but the crowds keep getting larger. Well worth attending if you can stick the crush.


Must see highlights


  • The Pashupatinath Ghats for a look at ritual cremations
  • The Arya Ghat is where the members of the royal family are cremated
  • A glimpse at the Pashupatinath temple from the outside looking in
  • Visiting the votive shrines, the Pandra Shivalaya and the Ram Temple across the river along the terraces
  • Converse with one of mysterious Sadhus that often congregated here
  • Past Pandra Shivalaya is a quiet forested area you can walk though

Beware of the monkeys - they steal food, shiny objects and will take things from your hand or bag!


Entrance fee for Pashupatinath


The current fee for foreigners is 1000rps. The ticket office is close to the river by the main road. There are other "security" ticket offices opening up on the other side of the river.

During Shivaratri the ticket price shoots up to 1000rps + with huge queues.

Don't want to pay? You could take a long detour up past the main road along the back road leading to Pashupatinath. Just be warned that they are often posting guards there nowadays. Another way to avoid the excessive fee is to simply show up very early in the morning when the ticket office is closed.


Directions to Pashupatinath


By walking: It's quite a long walk to Pashupatinath from Kathmandu city center. I'd really only advise it is there is a strike on and there's no traffic around. Otherwise it can be a dirty dusty trip. A better option would be to walk from Pashupatinath to Boudhanath which is very close (20 mins) and then take a taxi or bus back.

By bus/taxi: It's about 15 minutes from Thamel in non-rush hour. Taxi's will try to overcharge, set the price before getting in with a friendly bargain. Average price is about 150 to 250 rupees.

There are direct mini vans to Pashupatinath departing from anywhere around ring road. Or closer to the city center from Jamal bus stop just before Rani Pokhari on Kanti Path Road.

Address of Pashupatinath Temple: Pashupatinath Road Kathmandu 44600, Nepal Telephone +977(0)1 4256909 (all taxi's will know how to get there without the address)


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Pashupatinath temple complex

Pashupatinath temple complex
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