When we arrived at Pashupatinath Temple, I don’t think I realised how big it actually was.
You arrive at this seemingly unassuming date, walk through a fairly quiet walkway and before you know it, you’re in the heart of one of Nepal’s most sacred sites.
Like Boudhanath before, Pashupatinath Temple is also a UNESCO World Heritage site but is unique in that is a place that is important to both Buddhists and Hindus – indeed, in the main temple, only Hindus or Buddhists are actually allowed in.
It’s not very often that you find two different religions having the same place of worship and this, along with the fact that it is located on the banks of the Bagmati river, makes this temple very important in Nepal.
The temple grounds here are huge and you’ll find that you can spend hours here and still not get to see it all.
This site is not only important to Nepalese people but also to surrounding countries like India and Bangladesh. You might also find that you’ll get asked to be in a fair few photos if you look different from the locals – something we very much obliged (and sometimes asked for photos too).
You’ll also find the Sadhus here – holy men who have renounced world life.
Bit of caution here though – from what we all understand, Sadhus have renounced almost all worldly possession and survive off donations or leftovers but some of the ones you find around the temples here will ask you for money for taking a photo of them.
At the time, due to a language barrier, we had no idea what they were asking for until later when someone explained that they were asking for money.
Also, there was a Sadhu here with a silver watch which kind of goes again the whole worldly possessions thing here though from speaking to some of the locals here, this isn’t usually the case with Sadhus. (Long story short – don’t be surprised if you get asked to pay money for taking a photo).
We explored even more of the temples, eventually heading back to the main temple where as it turned out, several burial rites were taking place. Out of respect, I took no photos of this but it’s such an insight into Nepali, Hindu and Buddhist cultures to visit Pashupatinath Temple.
We wandered around the temple grounds even more surprised by how huge it (there’s even a deer park up here) before finally deciding to head back to the car and off to the airport (the airport is actually only 5 – 10 minutes from here).
And that’s it – our trip to Nepal had come to an end and what a trip it was! Nepal is absolutely amazing! The experience of going across the country was everything we hoped it would be and more.
If you’ve been toying with the idea of visiting or are even remotely interested in visiting, I definitely recommend it. The people are so warm and friendly, it feels absolutely safe across the board and the sights here are spectacular.
Suffice to say, a trip to Nepal deserves a spot on your upcoming travel plans!