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(English) Festival of Lord Shiva being observed

Sadhus  sitting at the premise of Pashupatinath temple. Photo: nepaliaustralian.com
Sadhus sitting at the premise of Pashupatinath temple. Photo: nepaliaustralian.com

KATHMANDU, Nepal–Maha Shivaratri, one of the greatest festivals of Hindus, is being observed across the country by worshipping lord Shiva on Thursday.

Tens of thousands of devotees and sages from India and other countries are thronging Pashupatinath temple in Kathmandu and Shiva temples across the country to pay homage to Shiva, also known for “Lord of Destruction”.

Reports say between 8,000 to 10,000 sadhus and naga babas arrived at the Pashupati area from various parts of the country. Nearly a million devotees and revelers are expected to visit the temple, according to the Pashupati Area Development Trust (PADT).

PADT has arranged lodging and food accommodation for the sadhus with the assistance of different religious trusts and social organizations.

Nearly 7 thousand security personnel along with thousands of volunteers have also been deployed to ensure security during the festival.

This special day marks the union of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. Sadhus and devotees smoke marijuana as Prasad of Lord Shiva on this day while devotees take all-day fasting and a night-long vigil chanting ‘Om Namaha Shivaya’ mantra.

The government has announced public holiday on the occasion of Maha Shivaratri.

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