A combination of religion, art and culture, Pashupatinath is more than just a religious destination. This true center of devotion comprises an area of approximately 2.5 km², it gathers a series of temples, monuments and niches dedicated to the performance of rituals (in large, small groups or even individually).
Considered a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1979, the place exhibits a variety of styles of temples – Dome, Pagoda and Shikhara, among others. The variety of statues also draws attention, either because of the reasons and shapes, or because of the material used in the making (stone, metal or wood).
Located three kilometers northwest of Kathmandu, the religious complex extends from the main temple of Pashupatinath to Guheshwor. Thousands of pilgrims attend temples like Bhuwaneshwori, Dakshinamurti, Tamreshwor, Panchdewal and Bishwarupa. There are about 492 temples, 15 Shivalayas (shrines of Lord Shiva) and 12 Jyotirlinga (phallic shrines).
The sacred area also includes the Deupatan, Jaya Bageshori, Gaurighat (sacred bath), Kutumbahal, Gaushala, Pingalasthan and Sleshmantak forests.
Swayambhu symbolizes harmony between Buddhists and Hindus
The all-seeing Buddha eyes in Boudhanath
The Kali temple, located on the banks of the Bagmati River, has an interesting and mythological appearance: they believe that the statue grows out of its original location and, when it is fully exposed, the world will end.
Each temple has its own set of rituals, values and customs. On the other side of the river, there is a small Shleshmantak forest, home to animals such as deer and monkeys.
Another very particular aspect of Pashupatinath is the crematorium on the banks of the Bagmati River, where the bodies of loved ones are burned in ceremonies capable of shocking Western eyes.
Dedicated to Lord Shiva, Pashupatinath is one of the four most important religious sites in Asia for Shiva devotees. Built in the 5th century and later renovated by the kings of Malla, the faithful believe that the place had existed since the beginning of the millennium, when a Lingam (representation) of Shiva was discovered.
Nepal’s largest temple complex, Pashupatinath stretches on both sides of the Bagmati River, considered sacred by Hindus. The main pagoda-style temple has a golden ceiling, four sides covered in silver and exquisite wood carvings. Temples dedicated to several other Hindu and Buddhist deities surround the Pashupatinath temple.
The inner sanctuary has a Shiva lingam and facing the temple is the largest statue of Nandi, the bull, Shiva’s vehicle. There are hundreds of Shiva ingots within the complex.
In the spring, there is the Maha Shivaratri festival, which attracts hundreds of thousands of devotees from Nepal and India.
Further east is the Guheshwori temple, dedicated to Shiva’s partner, Sati Devi.
Kumari, the living goddess of Kathmandu, is a tourist attraction
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