Thousands of devotees from different parts of the country as well as from India, Malayasia and other countries visited Pashupatinath temple today to worship lord Shiva.It is believed to be the day Shiva was born to save the universe by drinking haalaahala and Ganja, the poison and the drug that emerged from the churning of the ocean (samudra manthan).
Shivaratri is also celebrated during the night by keeping a night-long vigil as it is believed that lord Shiva saved the universe from darkness and ignorance.
Govinda Tandon, member secretary, Pashupati Area Development Trust today said the festival was celebrated with much fanfare in a peaceful way.
He said, “The four doors of Pashupatinath temple were opened from 2:45 am for devotees, while necessary arrangements had been made for devotees to enter the main temple premises through Battisputali-Gaushala, Tilganga, Mitrapark-Gaurighat-Umakunda-Rudragadeshwor-Basuki and Jayabageshwori.”
He stated that around 500,000 devotee worshipped lord Shiva at the temple while thousands others visited from outside without staying in queue for hours.
Along with Indian pilgrims, around 68 Malayasian pilgrims also visited the temple and donated Rs 1.5 million to the temple, he added.
He stated that around 5,000 Nepal Police personnel, 3,800 Armed Police Force personnel, 500 traffic police personnel, 400 officers from Central Investigation Bureau and around 5,000 volunteers from different organisations were mobilised to provide service to the devotees and for security reasons.
VVIPS such as President Bidhya Bhandari reached the temple at around 5:20pm and worshipped lord Shiva as head of state for around 15 minutes, while Vice-president Nanda Bahadur Pun reached the temple at around 5:37pm and worshipped for around ten minutes.
A version of this article appears in print on March 08, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.