Nepal’s most important Hindu temple stands on the banks of the holy Bagmati River, surrounded by a bustling market of religious stalls selling marigolds, prasad (offerings), incense, rudraksha beads, conch shells, pictures of Hindu deities and temples, tika powder in rainbow colours, glass lingams, models of Mt Meru and other essential pilgrim paraphernalia.

At first glance, Pashupatinath might not look that sacred – the temple is just a few hundred metres from the end of the runway at Tribhuvan Airport, overlooking a particularly polluted stretch of the Bagmati. However, in religious terms this is a powerhouse of Hindu spiritual energy, and is closely connected to Shiva in the form of Pashupati, the Lord of Animals.

Some surrounding minor shrines were damaged in the 2015 earthquake, but the main mandir (temple) was unscathed.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Pashupatinath.