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(English) 700,000 devotees make way to Pashupatinath in reverence of Lord Shiva

Devotees queue up to offer puja. File photo/myrepublica.com.
Devotees queue up to offer puja. File photo/myrepublica.com.

KATHMANDU, Nepal– As many as 700,000 Hindu devotees from India and Nepal are due to offer prayer to Lord Shiva at the Pashupatinath temple in Kathmandu on the occasion of Maha Shivaratri, a major Hindu festival to be observed on February 27.

Pashupati Area Development Trust (PADT) PADT is trying to lure more non-Nepali Hindu pilgrims toward Pashupatinath temple to celebrate yearly festival, dedicated to Lord Shiva.  Millions of Hindus from various part of the world are making their way to capital as a part mark the event.

Officials believe that around 150,000 Hindu pilgrims from neighboring India will visit the temple to mark the event, celebrated every year in reverence of Lord Shiva.

One of the major attractions of the festival is the Indian ‘Naga Babas’ who remain nude and offer puja in their typical manner to Lord Shiva, who is often depicted as being blue due to a poison he drank that could have otherwise destroyed the universe.

Some sages and babas mainly from southern neighbor have started arriving in the capital for the auspicious day.

A 351-member main festival committee has been formed under the chairmanship of Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA) Ram Kumar Shrestha to look after the management for the festival, according to PADT which is work together with the Nepal Tourism Board for successful conclusion of the festival..

According to Dr Govinda Tandon, member secretary of the PADT, elderly, physically challenged and weak people do not have to queue up for hours to enter the temple on that particular day as the government has made require arrangement.

Officials at MoCTCA believe that celebration of Shivaratri has boosted religious tourism in the country.

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