Shivaratri, Pasupatinath

Shivaratri, Pasupatinath

I could hear every one joining the chorus “Hara hara Mahadev” from a distance away from Pashupatinath,  the biggest Hindu temple of Nepal. There were thousands of people crawling and trying to find a way inside the temple area and the administration were trying their best to manage the mismanaged crowds.

After getting in through our press cards, I could feel the heat of people’s belief on the god as I could see thousands of pilgrims waiting in the waiting lines that were more than 3 kilometers long. The pilgrims were mostly from India and Nepal.

I came here to take the photographs of the babaji or sadu’s (Devotees of Shiva), who were on the other side of the Bagmati River. Without wasting much time, I went to the place where the sadhus were.  Thousand of sadhus comes to this place, at this time of the year to show their devotion to Lord Shiva. The saadu’s decorate themselves with colors, ashes and then smoke weeds to show their devotion to the god.  There were many other photographer’s  trying too trying to shoot the portrait of saadu’s.

Saadhu’s knew that many people will earn money by selling their photographs, so they were asking money from anyone taking their photographs. It seemed like shooting actors in the form of sadhus rather than shooting a person, who is truly devoted to the Lord Shiva.  As soon as some one clicks their picture, they used to yell out “Money, Money, hara hara Mahdev, Money money for the photographs”

I was amazed and also thrilled to see and experience the atmosphere of there. Most of the Babaji’s were lost in their own world by smoking weeds and teenagers trying to get such experience themselves. They were trying hard to get a portion of weeds from the sadhus.  I even saw a policeman trying to buy weeds from these sadhus.

I had a great time shooting the photographs of these sadhus but don’t know if we should promote culture like this where we promote smoking  of  the weeds(regarded as drug) in this manner.


Note: Maha Shivratri is a Hindu festival celebrated every year in reverence of Lord Shiva. It is also known as padmarajarathri. Alternate common names/spellings include Maha Sivaratri, Shivaratri, Sivarathri, and Shivaratri. Shivaratri literally means the great night of Shiva or the night of Shiva. It is celebrated every year on the 13th night/14th day of the Fagun month of the Hindu calendar (February – March in the Gregorian calendar ). (Source: Wikipedia, 2013).

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