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Pashupatinath & Bodnath

Kathmandu, Nepal

Boudhanath Stupa & Pashupatinath, both close to each other to the east of Kathmandu. Boudhanath is the largest Buddhist Stupa in Kathmandu whilst Pashupatinath is one of the most sacred Hindu shrines in the world.

Boudhanath Stupa, which lies about 6 km east of downtown Kathmandu and is the largest stupa in the Valley and one of the largest in the world. It looms 36 meters high and presents one of the most fascinating specimens of stupa design with hundreds of prayer wheels and 108 small images of Buddha all around. Just like the Swayambhunath, the stupa here is too has four sides with the watchful eyes of Lord Buddha. All the Buddhist throng to this stupa to take part in the sacred rituals during the Buddhist festivals.

Pashupatinath, is one of the most sacred Hindu shrines in the world, Pashupatinath lies 5 km east from the city center, and close to Boudhanath. The richly-ornamented pagoda houses the sacred linga, or phallic symbol, of Lord Shiva as well as the noteworthy gold plated roofs and silver coated doors. This is the abode of God Shiva and is the holiest of all the Shiva shrines. Religious pilgrims and sadhus, travel all the way from the remote areas of India to visit this sacred sight, especially during Shivaratri (the night of Shiva) that falls between February/March. Even though these devotees have denounced worldly possessions, each carries a Sadhu ID (identifications card) to freely cross over the border between India and Nepal. Chronicles indicate Pashupatinath’s existence prior to 400 AD. Devotees can be seen taking ritual dips in the holy Bagmati river flowing beside the temple, also a World Heritage Site. The crematorium is just outside the temple and it is a dream of almost every Hindu to be cremated by the side of Pashupati Aryaghat after their death.

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