Pilgrims congregate at Pashipatinath temple on Shivratri
Kathmandu, Feb 26 (UNI) Around 13,000 Indian devotees visited Pashipatinath temple here on the occasion of Shivratri today, officials have said.
The number of Indian pilgrims has increased compared to the last year, said Mr Ram Prasad Dahal, member of Pashupati Area Development Trust.
Around 5,000 Indian had visited the Pashupati temple on the same occasion last year.
A large number of people were seen queueing up at the temple since this morning and the officials said that the devotees will be permitted to pay homage to the Lord Shiva at the temple till mid-night.
Officials are expecting more than 300,000 people to visit the temple on the auspicious occasion today.
More than 150,000 pilgrims have visited the temple by this afternoon.
This is the biggest religious congregation in the temple, the biggest Hindu temple of the Himalayan Kingdom.
The temple is considered to be the holiest of the holy places in Nepal and India.
As per the tradition, Indians are appointed as the main priest ''Bhattas'' of the temple since ancient time.
Security has been beefed up here in view of the large number of pilgrims coming from across the country.
The number of people coming from other districts has also decreased this year compared to the previous years, officials said.
Most of the devotees are from Kathmandu and surrounding areas.
Hindus all over the world are same and we Indians and Nepali have the same tradition of worshiping God, said Jannav Hoiri, a pilgrim from India.
Most of the Indians visiting the temple are from the Indian states of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.
UNI XC MA BD1913