Indian group to perform in Pashupatinath during Mahashivaratri

Kathmandu: Thousands of Hindu devotees from India are expected to throng the revered Pashupatinath Temple here, where a Delhi-based musical group will sing 'bhajans' during Mahashivaratri.

Indian Ambassador to Nepal Rakesh Sood is expected to inaugurate the religious musical show titled "Shiva Stuti and Bhajans" to be performed by the five-member group led by singer Bhuvanesh Komkali, grandson of Indian classical singing maestro Kumar Gandharva, beginning today.

Minister for Culture and Federalism Minendra Rijal will be the chief guest during the concluding ceremony of the three day religious musical programme being organised in the 4th century Hindu shrine.

The number of devotees will be almost double this year as compared to the last year due to the improved security at the temple, said Shushil Nahata, Chief of the Pashupati Area Development Board.

"Last year some 3,00,000 people visited Pashupati on Mahashivaratri and this year we will have more than 5,00,000," he said.

Some 3,000 security personnel are to be mobilised and about 5,000 volunteers will provide service to the devotees.

After a Supreme Court ruling that annulled an attempt by erstwhile Maoists government to appoint local priests, Pashupati now has five priests including the chief priest from South India as per centuries old tradition.