Shivaratri or Maha Shivaratri is one of the most important Hindu festivals, it is a festival dedicated to Lord Shiva, one of the most worshipped Hindu god. The origin of the Shivaratri festival has its own story, to some Shivaratri is regarded as the day when Lord Shiva got married to Goddesses Parvati.
Whereas, some believe Shivaratri is celebrated as the day when Lord Shiva saved the world consuming the poison which emerged during the Sagar Manthan between god and demons. It is also regarded as the day when Shiva performed the Tandav (cosmic dance) to discard the negative power.
What so ever may be the reason Shivaratri is one of the holiest festival for Hindu followers, every year devotees from around the world gather at Pashupatinath Temple of Kathmandu which is regarded as the centre of Shiva and Shakti a combination of the live energy which makes Pashupatinath temple to be one of the most visited sites for the devotees.
Shivaratri literally means the night of Lord Shiva, so devotees gather all night at the Shivalaya ( Temple of Shiva) to please him, they enjoy the festival through singing, dancing, consuming a holy meal, smoking marijuana, and does bonfire in and around the temple premises to spend the whole night without sleeping.
To women, the Shivaratri festival is regarded as more important because according to legend, Shivaratri is also regarded as the day when mother Parvati was married to Lord Shiva. Mother Parvati conducted a long penance to get Shiva as her husband, finally, with her devotion Shiva got pleased and hence they were married.
This story makes women believe that on the day of Shivaratri if a woman does fasting and offers holy water to the Shivalingam with her full devotion, she is sure to get a husband similar to Lord Shiva, who is caretaking, honest, devotional, and powerful. This belief makes unmarried women stand for hours in a long queue in Pashupatinath to have a glimpse of Shiva lingam. And for married women, this festival is observed mainly to make their husband be righteous, brave, caretaking, and longevity.
During the Shivaratri festival, almost a million or more than a million devotees from around the world visit Pashupatinath Temple, one of the holiest temples dedicated to Lord Shiva. Apart from devotees Shades (holy man) followers of Shiva from India and Nepal spend a week in Pashupatinath. They smoke Marijuana and show their control over their physical body remaining naked during the festival.
Apart from the Shivaratri Festival, this day is also the army formation day in Nepal. Army, Nepal Scout, students from different schools perform numerous activities and parades in the open space of Kathmandu centre known as Tudikhel. All the national and international delegates participate in observing the parade.
If you are in Kathmandu or Nepal, the Shivaratri festival day tour is a must to observe, don’t miss the opportunity of being at one of the holiest temples of Lord Shiva on the holiest day of Lord Shiva. Visitors can spend a full day observing the ritual ceremonies in and around Pashupatinath.
In 2021 AD, the Shivaratri festival fall on 11th (Thursday) March, if you want to be part of this celebration, Discover Altitude will help arrange a festival tour in Nepal according to your time schedule and interest. Please feel free to contact us, the Shivaratri festival tour will be started from your respective hotel, it will be a guided day tour.
Due to the large volume of people at the temple, all the roads will be blocked, around 2-3 km area of the temple premises will be ‘no driving zone’ for a day. So we can drive to the temple premises through local transportation to enjoy the festival to its fullest.