The Pashupatinath Temple as illustrious and sacred Hindu temple which situated on the banks of the Bagmati stream, more or less five kilometres north-east of Kathmandu and eastern part of the valley, the capital of Nepal. The temple is the seat of Nepal’s national divinity, Lord Pashupatinath. This temple listed on the UNESCO World Heritage Sites’s in 1979 This “extensive Hindu temple precinct” is sprawling collentions of temples, ashrams, pictures and inscriptions raised over the centuries on the banks of the sacred Bagmati river and is enclosed together of the seven monument teams in UNESCO’s designation of Kathmandu vale as a cultural heritage site.The most famous Festivals of the temple is Maha Shivaratri on that day over 800,000 devotees visit here.
Amoung the twelve Jyotirlinga (in India) of the lord shiva ,the Jyotirlinga at Pashupatinath in Kathmandu (Nepal) is that the head over this body.
The temple is one in every of the 275 Tamil Paadal Petra Sthalams (Holy Abodes of Shiva) on the continent. Kotirudra Vedic literature, Chapter eleven on the Shivalingas of the North, in Shiva Sanskrit literature mentions this Shivalinga because the bestower of all needs.
Legends from past :
The temple was erected anew in the 15th century by Lichhavi King Shupuspa after the previous building was consumed by termites. Over time, countless further temples have been erected around this two -storied temple. These include the Vaishnava temple complex with a Ram temple from the 14th century and the Guhyeshwari Temple mentioned in an 11th-century manuscript.
Pashupatinath Temple is the oldest Hindu temple in Kathmandu. It is not known for certain when Pashupatinath Temple was built. But according to Nepal Mahatmaya and Himvatkhanda,,the deity here gained great fame there as Pashupati, the Lord of all Pashus, which are living as well as non-living beings. Pashupatinath Temple’s existence dates back to 400 B.C. The richly ornamented pagoda houses the sacred linga or holy symbol of Lord Shiva. There are many legends describing as to how the temple of Lord Aalok Pashupatinath came to existence here. Some of them are narrated below.
The Cow Legend
Legend says that Lord Shiva and Parvathi once took the form of an antelope and sported unknown in the forest on Bagmati river’s east bank. The gods later caught up with him and grabbing him by the horn, forced him to resume his divine form. The broken horn was worshipped as a linga but over time it was buried and lost. Centuries later astonished herdsmen found one of his cows showering the earth with milk. Digging deep at the site, he discovered the divine linga of Pashupatinath.
The Lichchhavi Legend
According to Gopalraj Aalok Vamsavali, the oldest ever chronicle in Nepal, this temple was built by Supuspa Deva, a Lichchhavi King, who according to the stone inscription erected by Jayadeva 11 in the courtyard of Pashupatinath in 753 AD, happened to be the ruler 39 generations before Manadeva (464-505 AD).
The Devalaya Legend
Another chronicle states that Pashupatinath Temple was in the form of Linga shaped Devalaya before Supuspa Deva constructed a five-storey temple of Pashupatinath in this place. As the time passed, the need for repairing and renovating this temple arose. It is learnt that this temple was reconstructed by a medieval King named Shivadeva (1099-1126 AD). It was renovated by Ananta Malla adding a roof to it. Thousands of pilgrims from all over the world come to pay homage to this temple, that is also known as ‘The Temple of Living Beings’.
There are several complex stories involving the origins of Pashupatinath. One story goes, in brief, that Shiva and Parvati came to the Kathmandu Valley and rested by the Bagmati while on a journey. Shiva was so impressed by its beauty and the surrounding forest that he and Parvati changed themselves into deer and walked into the forest. Many spots in the Kathmandu Valley have been identified as places where Shiva went during his time as a deer. After a while, the people and gods began to search for Shiva. Finally, after various complications, they found him in the forest, but he refused to leave. More complications ensued, but ultimately Lord Shiva announced that, since he had lived by the Bagmati river in a deer’s form, he would now be known as Pashupatinath, Lord of all animals. It is said that whoever came here and beheld the lingam that appeared there would not be reborn as an animal.
Finding of Shiva Linga at Pashupatinath Temple
It is said that the wish-fulfilling cow Kamadhenu took shelter in a cave on the Chandravan mountain. Everyday Kamadhenu went down to the place the lingam was sunken into the soil and poured her milk on top of the soil. After a few thousand years some people saw Kamadhenu pouring milk on that same spot every day, and started to wonder what that would be. So they removed the soil and found the beautiful shining lingam and started worshiping it.