Located at the banks of the holy river Bagmati in Kathmandu valley, Pashupatinath is one of the most important shrines to the followers of Hindu religion all over the world. Being a Shiva (Hindu God)temple, it has many myths attached to its significance and origin. As mentioned in the Sanskrit epic Mahabharatha, the Pandavas (five brothers) went on a search of Lord Shiva to free their curse, and they found him in the form of a bull. As they approached, the bull disappeared and in its differ emery parts appeared in different places; the head emerging from where Pashupatinath stands now.
Pashupatinath is definitely a very sacred site, possessing a huge religious significance. Apart from that, it exhibits unique architectural design and beauty that has been a subject of intrigue for many visitors. There is a major Shiva Linga centrally placed, but inside the temple there are hundreds of idols, statues, and carvings of other Gods and goddesses. Most of them are centuries old, while some of them were built pretty recently. Not only inside, but over the growing years the Nepalese government has been working on beautifying the place sorrounding Pashupatinath as well. There is a well maintained garden. There are several grounds meant specifically for bird feeding, where hundreds of pigeons trot around, and also several shops all the way to the entrance which sell holy stuffs like statues, gemstones, rudrakssha etc. There is also a view point on the bank of Bagmati river, which gives a clear picture of the inside of the temple. This is specially important for the non-Hindus, as they are prohibited from entrance inside.
One of the major festivals that draws thousands of visitors to Pashupatinath is Shivaratri. The premise is beautifully decorated with lightings, and there is a huge fair outside the temple. The queue of worshippers is kilometers long during this festival. You can also notice several Babas (saints), roaming around the temple covered in white powder and smoking marijuana, which is believed to be the blessing of Lord Shiva to mankind.
Thus, Pashupatinath is a remarkably important site in Nepal, and also included in the UNESCO world heritage sites. It is a must visit for not only the Hindu followers, but also those who appreciate architectural beauty and cultural vibrancy.