One million devotees to visit Pashupatinath on Shivratri
Kathmandu: At least one million pilgrims from both India and Nepal are expected to pay obeisance to Lord Shiva at the revered Pashupatinath Temple here on the occasion of Maha Shivratri on Sunday.
Built in the fifth century, Pashupatinath Temple is regarded as one of the holiest places for Hindus.
Already, devotees from India have arrived in thousands to worship at the site on the festival day.
"This time a larger number of Indian visitors are expected to visit as the occasion coincides with Kumbha Mela," said authorities at the temple.
The Pashupati Area Development Trust, the body that manages the temple's affairs, has organised free lodging and food for thousands of Sadhus for the day, a number that includes at least 100 Naga Babas from India.
Religious songs, dance, spiritual discourses and arati are planned for the grand celebration tomorrow.
A 251-member celebration committee has been formed under the chairmanship of Tourism Minister Poshta Bahadur Bogati, also a senior Maoist leader, to observe the occasion.
Some 5,000 security personnel and equal number of volunteers are being mobilised for security and easy access for the devotees during the festival.
The authorities have also attempted to make transparent the donations collected at the temple from devotees since 2012.
Five Indian priests, including the chief priest and their Nepali aides will be provided with a fixed salary. Earlier, all the cash income collected from the devotees was distributed among the priests and their Nepali aides.