KATHMANDU, Feb 24: The Pashupatinath – one of the most revered Hindu God Shiva's temple – was opened for public at 3:30 am this morning to mark the Mahashivaratri or the 'Great night of Shiva'.
The devotees lined up for worship and to offer prayers from 2:30 am. The northern, western and southern gates have been opened since 3:30 am, Pashupati Area Development Trust Member Secretary Dr Govinda Tondon told the National News Agency (RSS).
The visitors heading towards the temple from Umakunda and Mitra Park area are advised to enter the temple premises from northern entrance point whereas the western entrance will be for devotees travelling through the Jaya Bageshwori area. Those coming from the airport and Gaushala areas are advised to enter through the southern gate.
"In the morning hours a devotee may be able to return after completing the worship rituals within just 20 to 25 minutes," the PADT Member Secretary said. The eastern gate of the temple was opened at 7:30 am.
The authorities have deployed 4,000 Nepal Police personnel, 2,000 Armed Police Force (APF) personnel and 400 officials from the National Investigation Department (NID) for security at the Pashupatinath.
The PADT has scrapped the arrangement for payment-based visit to the temple. Last year, it had collected Rs 3.5 million by arranging tickets for those wanting to visit the temple through the easiest means and without having to face the usual hassle.
The Nanga Baba or naked Sadhus and other great souls, sages and hermits visiting the temple on the day of Mahashivaratri were given accommodation and daily meals since February 22 within different temple complexes at the Pashupatinath vicinity and the Thapathali – based Kaalmochanghat.
With the Mahashivaratri day just beginning, the temples and shrines dedicated to Hindu God Shiva across the country are abuzz with crowds of devotees. RSS