KATHMANDU, MARCH 11
Many Nepali Hindus are observing the Mahashivaratri festival by offering prayer to and worshiping Lord Shiva today, on Phagun Krishna Chaturdashi (the fourth day of the waning moon in the month of Phagun), as per the lunar calendar.
According to the Nepal Calendar Determination Committee, Brahma took the form of Shiva in the midnight of Krishna Chaturdashi of Phagun. So this day is observed with prayers, pooja, and visit to Lord Shiva's shrines. Hindus believe that the observation of the Mahashivaratri brings peace and prosperity to one's life.
From early morning today, devotees take bath in rivers and ponds, visit Lord Shiva's shrines and pay homage.
The day is regarded as the most favourite day of Lord Shiva, who it is believed to bring happiness in the hearts of those living in difficulty.
Fasting is observed by some on the day and the night is observed with a vigil (jagram), celebrating Shiva.
People also make fire at home, on public squares and at temples, chant hymns and take prasad on the occasion.
Classical dances are performed at Kailashkut and Kirateshwor of Pashupati area in Kathmandu.
The Pashupatinath Temple in Kathmandu is thronged by devotees from across the country and neighbouring India.
Meanwhile, Pashupati Area Development Trust (PADT) has said it has made special arrangement to facilitate the visitors. All four gates of the temple would remain open from 4:00 am on Thursday.
There will be three major queues for devotees to wait for their turn to reach the main temple.