In pics: Nepal’s Pashupatinath temple gets 1 million devotees on Mahashivratri | world-news | Hindustan Times
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In pics: Nepal’s Pashupatinath temple gets 1 million devotees on Mahashivratri

Nearly one million devotees from India and Nepal thronged the famous 5th century Pashupatinath temple in Kathmandu on Friday on the occasion of Mahashivratri festival.

world Updated: Feb 24, 2017 20:22 IST
PTI
A sadhu sings and dances at the Pashupatinath Temple premises in Kathmandu on Mahashivratri.
A sadhu sings and dances at the Pashupatinath Temple premises in Kathmandu on Mahashivratri.(REUTERS)

Nearly one million devotees from India and Nepal thronged the famous 5th century Pashupatinath temple in Kathmandu on Friday on the occasion of Mahashivratri festival.

Security was beefed up with the deployment of 6,000 security personnel in the vicinity of the temple situated on the banks of the Bagmati river for the annual Mahashivratri festival to be observed on Saturday.

A sadhu smears his forehead with ash at the courtyard of the Pashupatinath temple in Kathmandu during Mahashivratri on Friday. (AP)

Police are keeping a close watch on illegal trade of marijuana, hashish and alcohol as possession, sale, distribution and smuggling of narcotics are punishable.

Over 6,000 policemen from Nepal Police, Armed Police Force and National Investigation Department have been mobilised to maintain law and order, said superintendent of police Pradyumna Kumar Karki, chief of the Kathmandu Metropolitan Police.

A sadhu helps another smear his body with ash and vermilion powder at the courtyard of the Pashupatinath Temple in Kathmandu during Mahashivratri on Friday. (AP)

A senior police officer said only seers and saints who have travelled to the temple -- one of the holiest Hindu sites -- from Nepal and India will be allowed to consume marijuana and hallucinating substances on religious grounds.

However, they will be strictly barred from selling marijuana and such substances to devotees.

A sadhu smokes marijuana at the courtyard of the Pashupatinath temple in Kathmandu during Mahashivratri on Friday. (AP)

All the four gates of the temple were open for devotees from 3am on Friday.

Emergency health care centres, security posts, information desks, first-aid treatment centres have been set up.

Around 4,000 seers were expected to visit the temple for the celebrations, Pashupati Area Development Trust said.

A sadhu applies vermillion on his forehead at the Pashupatinath temple in Kathmandu during Mahashivratri on Friday. (REUTERS)

The Nepali Army organised a special function at the Army Pavilion, Tundikhel Open Ground in Kathmandu on the occasion of the Nepal Army Day coinciding with the festival.

A sadhu offers prayers on a human skull at the Pashupatinath temple in Kathmandu during Mahashivratri on Friday. (REUTERS)

On the occasion, President Bidya Devi Bhandari, the supreme commander-in-chief of the Nepali Army, garlanded the Brave Soldier monument at Tudinkhel and received the guard of honour. Prime Minister Prachanda also attended the function.