Two million devotees expected at Pashupati in Shivaratri

Kathmandu, Mar. 7: Mahashivaratri, one of the biggest annual festivals celebrated by Hindus in honour of Lord Shiva, is being observed on Friday across the country and beyond.

The Pashupati Area Development Trust (PADT) has estimated that around 2 million devotees from different places of the nation and India will visit the Pashupatinath Temple on the occasion of the Mahashivaratri festival this year.

All preparation works for this year’s Mahashivaratri have been completed. A 41-member Main Management Committee and eight sub-committees have been formed to manage security system, free food, water, firewood and logs for the Sadhus,  footwear of the devotees and other things, the PADT said at a press meet organised on Wednesday.

The officials of the PADT stated that it was ready to welcome tens of thousands of devotees on the day of Mahashivaratri. It said police personnel would be mobilised to manage the crowd of the devotees and provide security to them. Security personnel from the Nepal Police, the Armed Police Force, and other security organs and around 6,000 volunteers would be mobilised at the Pashupati area on the day.  

Raju Kumar Khatri, Member Secretary of Pashupati Area Development Trust (PADT), said that this year the flowers and Bel leaves offered by the devotees at the Pashupatinath Temple would be reused to make a 14 feet long incense and other different shapes of incense.      

Khatri further said that over 5,000 Sadhus and saints would arrive in Kathmandu from different parts of India. 

Treasurer of the PADT, Narayan Prasad Subedi, said that they have allocated Rs. 15 million to celebrate the Shivaratri festival. 

The PADT has made arrangements for people to offer worship to Lord Shiva at Pashupati making separate lines from different points around the temple. 

Arrangements are made in such a way that the devotees can easily pay homage to Lord Shiva in a short time, the PADT said. 

All four doors of the temple will open at 3:00 am and the devotees could pay homage to Lord Shiva from all four doors this year, said Khatri. 

More than 110 different organisations will provide free meals, drinking water, juice and medicines, according to the PADT. 

Nepali Army, Armed Police Force and 70 health institutions will provide health services by setting up health camps. 

The trust has selected five places each for managing footwear and for the parking of vehicles. 

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