KATHMANDU: As the country is preparing to celebrate the Mahashivaratri festival on Friday, the movement of devotees and sadhus has started growing dense at the Pashupatinath Temple area.

As every year, hundreds of sadhus from across the country and from various parts of neighbouring India have arrived at the temple and taking refuge at the temple premises as well as Bankali area.

The mass congregation of sadhus thronging the temple for the festival continues, said the Pashupati Area Development Trust.

Approximately 4,000 sadhus are expected to arrive at the Pashupati temple this year, said the Trust, the government body responsible for looking after the Pashupatinath area.

One can view the scenes of sadhus with their faces smeared with firewood ashes and puffing on cigarettes mixed with marijuana. On the other hand, people are seen dancing and singing in the honour of Lord Shiva.

There is a trend of bidding farewell to sadhus after handing them offerings and money following the conclusion of the festival.

Meanwhile, arrangements have been made for pilgrims and sadhus for their accommodation, food and water, said the Trust.

Likewise, volunteers and security personnel have been mobilised, said the Director of the Trust, Bharat Marasini.