Bala Chaturdashi being observed today

Kathmandu, November 27

Thousands of Hindu devotees from across Nepal have congregated in Pashupatinath temple to pay homage to their near and dear ones, who died over the last one year, on the occasion of Bala Chaturdashi, which falls tomorrow.

The day is also called Satbij chharne din.

Camping under the open sky or tents arranged by the Pashupati Area Development Trust, the bereaved ones observe penance the whole night, lighting oil lamps and keeping themselves awake throughout the night, praying for the departed souls to rest in heaven.

They also sing and dance to hymns in memory of the departed souls.

In the wee hours tomorrow, devotees would stroll along the Slesmantak Forest close to the Pashupatinath temple, scattering Satbij (seven varieties of holy grains, fruits and coins).

Devotees, young and elderly alike, go around Panchaganesh, Aadinarayan, Parthilshila, Jayanabgala, Rajrajeshwori, Bhasmeshwor, Kotilingeshwor, Rudrangeshwor, Bashuki temple, Harineshwor, Bhagalbhugal, Kiranteshwor, Gaurighat, Guheshwori, Gupteshwor, Namobuddha, Bahiro Ganesh, Bishworup and finally to Aryaghat, scattering Satbij.

Legends have it that, every single grain scattered is as valuable as its weight in gold. The PADT has made special arrangements for the devotees.

According PADT officials, an estimated of 200,000 pilgrims are expected to visit the holy site by tomorrow. Police have thus made special security arrangements to prevent any untoward incidents from occurring.

Security personnel have been keeping a tight vigil against pick-pocketing, eve-teasing and robbery. The Nepal Red Cross Society and other organisations have also been providing mobile health services to the devotees.