Shiva Shrines


Two footbridges cross the Bagmati in front of the Pashupatinath Temple, entering a garden of stone terraces covered in dozens of small Shiva shrines. These one-room temples are often used as lodgings by wandering sadhus and each contains a central Shiva lingam. Although the shrines are built in many styles, all share certain design features – note the mask of Bhairab, Shiva’s fearsome incarnation, on the south wall, the Nandi statues on the west side and the bull-head water spouts to the north.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Pashupatinath attractions

1. Viewpoint

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This hilltop spot offers bird's eye views over the otherwise off-limits Pashupatinath Temple. Look for the enormous golden trident on the northern side of…

2. Bachhareshwari Temple

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Between the two groups of ghats on the west bank of the Bagmati is this small, 6th-century temple, decorated with Tantric figures, skeletons and erotic…

3. Ram Temple

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This elaborately frescoed wooden temple is often thronged by visiting sadhus, especially during the Maha Shivaratri Festival.

4. Lingam with Shiva Face

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At the northern end of the upper terrace on the east bank of the Bagmati River look for the interesting lingam with the Shiva face.

5. Eastern Ghats

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Pashupatinath's ghats are often full of life and it's worth taking some time to absorb it all. Devotees ritually bathe in the dubious-looking waters of…

6. Pashupatinath Temple

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Undiminished by the earthquake, the pagoda-style Pashupatinath Temple was constructed in 1696, but has been a site of Hindu and Buddhist worship for far…

7. Nandi Statue

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From the main gate on the west side of the compound, you can view the mighty golden behind of an enormous brass statue of Nandi, Shiva’s bull. Inside the…

8. Western Cremation Ghats

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Despite being clogged with garbage and black with pollution, the fetid Bagmati River is actually an extremely sacred river; Pashupatinath is the Nepali…