Friday, March 26, 2010

Heritage sites of Kathmandu valley-Pashupatinah

Lord Shiva's temple-This is the main temple which houses the metre long linga, carved with the four faces of Shiva.The linga is the primary symbol of the Hindu god Shiva and the main cultic object of devotion in Shaivism (the school of Hinduism that worships Shiva as the supreme divine being). In Hindu devotional and ritual practice, the linga has four interrelated meanings and purposes: firstly, it symbolizes Shiva and his regenerative power as both the destroyer and reproducer of the universe; secondly, it represents the male reproductive organ and its seminal potentiality (and, paradoxically, ascetic restraint); thirdly, it provides the main object of cultic devotion in Shavite temples containing upraised cylindrical shafts at the center of their sanctuaries Finally, it is used as a mark, sign, and symbol of Shaivism, allowing one to identify with, and recognize, followers of this group.

View of the temple from across the river

This is the most auspicious place to be cremated in Nepal

Pashupatinath temple is the one of the biggest Hindu temple of Lord Shiva in the world located on the banks of the Bagmati river in the eastern part of Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal. The temple served as the seat of national deity, Lord Pashupatinath, until Nepal was secularized.Pashupatinath Temple is the oldest Hindu temple in Kathmandu. It is not known for certain when Pashupatinath Temple was founded. But according to Nepal Mahatmaya and Himvatkhanda,one day Lord Shiva grew tired of his palace atop Mt. Kailash and so went in search of a place where he could escape to. He discovered Kathmandu Valley and, without telling anyone, he ran away from his palace and came to live in the Valley. He gained great fame there as Pashupati, Lord of the Animals, before the other gods discovered his hiding place and came to fetch him. He disguised himself as a majestic deer and would not help the other gods when they asked for his help. When Shiva did not yield to their pleas, they planned to use force. God Vishnu grabbed him by his horns and they shattered into pieces. Vishnu established a temple and used the broken horns to form a linga on the bank of the Bagmati River. As time went by, the temple was buried and forgotten. Then a cow was known to have secretly sprinkled her milk over the mound. Apparently, when the cow herders dug around the spot, they found the lost lingas and again built a temple in reverence.
Pashupati is one of the four most important religious sites in Asia for Shiva devotees. The Pashupatinath Temple is the largest Hindu temple and is considered to be the holiest of all Hindu Temples. This is a two-tiered golden temple with four silver doorways, hundreds of Shiva linga's shrines and holy symbols. It is located on the holy river Bagmati, 6 km east of the city centre . Non- Hindus are not allowed into this temple.
The Pashupati Temple was built in the fifth century and later renovated by Malla kings, Its original beauty still remains with the beautifully sculpted stone sculptures found here.Pashupati is one of the four most important religious sites in Asia for Shiva devotees.

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