This time, the Pashupati Area Development Trust ended the practice of issuing paid tickets to visitors for prompt access to the temple.
KATHMANDU, Feb 25: Around 600,000 devotees offered worship to Lord Shiva at Pashupatinath Temple on the occasion of the Mahashivaratri festival on Friday.
Govinda Tandon, member secretary of the Pashupati Area Development Trust (PADT), informed that they opened the temple for devotees from 3:30 am.
“We found that the devotees and other visitors from within and outside the country are satisfied with the overall management of the Shivaratri festival this year,” said Tandon. “Around 600,000 devotees have already offered Puja at the temple by 6 pm Friday. We hope all the devotees will complete worship at the temple by will be able to complete their worship at the temple by 8:30 pm.”
He said that the devotees will observe Shivaratri on the temple premises till 6 am Saturday. “As the main theme of the festival is to stay up all night reciting hymns, the temple will remain open till Saturday morning,” he said.
He claimed that around 1.2 million people arrived in the Pashupati area to observe the festival on Friday.
Sunita Maharjan, a devotee from Tahachal, Kathmandu, found the festival management this year better compared to the past years. “Last year, I had to stand in the queue for five hours to enter the temple,” she said. “Today (Friday), it took just two hours.”
This time, the PADT ended the practice of issuing paid tickets to visitors for prompt access to the temple. Devotees like Maharjan said that the new system provided equal access to all to the temple.
Likewise, sadhus visiting Pashupatinath from India and elsewhere said they were happy with the festival arrangement. “We were offered special meals and accommodation is satisfactory,” said Sunil Giri, a Sadhu from Hyderabad India. According to a PADT official, around 150 Indian sadhus have arrived at Pashupatinath from various places.