Pashupatinath, a Hindu cremation
Pashupatinath, a Hindu cremation Kathmandu Reviews
Pashupatinath, a Hindu cremation Nov 22, 2014
Pashupatinath, the most sacred and holy temple of the hindus in kathmandu dedicated to lord shiva, a hindu supreme god with countless manifestations, such as the destroyer.
Pashupatinath temple is dedicated to pashupati, one of the manifestations of the lord shiva in the context of "lord of beast" and constructed at the sacred bagmati river where the civilization of nepal begun.
entering the temple at pashupatinath is strictly only for the hindu faith, its not allowed to go inside but one can see the temple structure from the other side of the bagmati river and from that side, one of no hindu faith can witness spectacular scenes of hindu cremation ceremony.
the ceremony is mourned by the family and relatives of the dead. it can be elaborate as ive witnessed some (with decorations) or as simple one. it also depends on the caste, where they would be burned on the temple.
the ceremony begins step by step:
- preparation by stacking of wood on a higher part of the ground.
- once they are placed, the close relatives carry the stretcher with the body to the temple. the dead body is wrapped by white cloth and after the visit to the temple, the close relatives unwrap the body.
- then, the cloths are thrown into the sacred bagmati river wrapping the body again, only the head is to be seen. the close relatives (only men) carry the dead body and circle it (clockwise) 3x around the cremation area.
- next step, they lay the dead body on the pile of wood, the oldest son walks three times around the body with a torch and then he lights the pile of wood near to the mouth of the dead body. this moment is sacred to the hindus because they believe that the soul of the dead leaves the body from the mouth.
the pashupatinath temple is not far from the touristic area of kathmandu (where most of the hotels and guesthouses are located called thamel) its actually very near to the airport and you will pass it on the way to inner kathmandu.
be sure to wear face mask if youre sensitive to air pollution, because the temple complex is smokey all the time from all the burning and ashes in the cremations.
the cost to enter and see the ceremony is a bit expensive for non-nepalis - at 1000 rupees but the experience of seeing such a tradition and culture is worth everything to be here.
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