Pasupatinath is the national god of Nepal. Lord Pashupati is also known as the the Aradhya dev of Nepal. The temple of Pashupatinath is carved in every treaty, pledges, on a 5 rupees note and the royal coat of arms of Nepal.
The temple of Pashupatinath lies at about 6 kilometer east of the center of Kathmandu. It is considered to be the oldest and the holiest temple of Lord Shiva. It is also listed on UNESCO world heritage site.
The temple of Pashupatinath is situated on the bank of Bagmati River. The temple is believed to be more than 2000 years. But the first proof of evidence was made in the year 477 A.D. It is believed that the temple was built in 3rd B.C century by Pashupreksha of Somadeva Dynasty. The present form of the temple was built by Malla Dynasty King Bhupetendra Malla in 1697.
Pashupatinath means lord of living beings. Literally “Pashu” means animal “Pati and nath” meaning lord or owner. Shiva Puran says how lord Shiva was called Pashupatinath.
Once Lord Shiva got exhausted living in the Kailash Parbat all the time, he vanished without telling anybody. Goddess Parbati, his wife, was very worried when Shiva did not show up for many days. Through her spiritual vision goddess Parbati saw that in a beautiful valley of Kathmandu in the place known as Mirgasthali there was a golden deer grazing along with other flock. Goddess Parvati knew it was Lord Shiva. She went as a disguise herself as deer too and went to Mirgasthali. Both Lord Shiva and goddess Parvati stayed there for long period of time enjoying as deer life. The absence of Shiva and Parvati other deities started having trouble from devils and monsters. They also used their spiritual vision and found both lord Shiva and Parvati dwelling in the forest of Mirgasthali. In order to get hold of them lord Bhrama and Vishnu made a plan to catch the deer. Bhramaha and Vishnu tried to catch the deer Lord Brahama could only get hold of one of the horn. The horn soon broke into three pieces. One of the pieces dropped in Gokarna, second dropped in Sleshmantak forest and the main piece dropped and vanished in the place where present Shiva Linga of Pashupatinath sits.
Along with the temple of Lord Shiva Pashupatinth, Pashupati premises has hundreds of temples and thousands of idols of various gods and goddesses. There are 64 Shiva lingams of various sizes in the right side of the Shiva temple. Also on the right side there is a Bhairav temple with the idol of Bhairav about 6 feet tall. The temple of Ganesh, laxmi, Swaraswiti, Narayan, a big idol of Hanuman stands in front of Shiva temple. A big idol of ox (Nandi) sits in front of main temple. On the back of the temple there is a temple of serpent god Bashuki. On the eastern side, there are stairs to reach the Bagmati River. On the bank of the river the cremation ceremony takes place. On the other side of the river various temples of different gods and goddess are present. Main amongst the temples is the temple of Biswaroop. Biswaroop is the idol of Lord Vishnu showing Arjuna all his avatars. Also through the woods on the same way we reach Guheswori temple.