Exploring Nepal’s Historic Pashupatinath Temple

Based in Oklahoma City, OK, William D. Jones, MD, is an occupational and preventive health practitioner who is active with the OK State Medical Association. Passionate about travel, William D. Jones, MD, has visited far-flung locations, including India and Nepal.

One of the key historic and spiritual centers in Nepal is the Pashupatinath temple. The original temple was built around 400 AD along the Bagmati River’s banks in Kathmandu. It grew over the years to include various ashrams and temples, as well as statuaries and inscriptions along the river.

The main temple was built as a pagoda-style structure in the 17th century. One of its central precepts, based on Hindu scripture, is that death should not be feared. This is the reason a ritual cremation ground lies in its vicinity. Its structure is designed to contain gold on the roof and tower, with a large bull statue residing in the center of the temple.

Pashupatinath is also noteworthy as one of a dozen Jyotirlinga complexes worldwide, which are said in Hindu mythology to be spots where Shiva pierced the earth by revealing himself as a massive pillar of light.

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