COVID-19: Nepal’s Pashupatinath Temple reopens for devotees ahead of Shivaratri

Kathmandu [Nepal], February 11 (ANI): With few weeks left for the arrival of Shivaratri, the Pashupatinath Temple in Nepal’s capital Kathmandu from Friday has again opened its doors for devotees.

Closed since January 18 in wake of the third wave of COVID-19 infection, the temple again welcomed devotees adhering to safety protocols and permission from Kathmandu District Administration Office (DAO).

According to the statement issued by Pashupati Area Development Trust earlier this week, the decision to open the temple comes following the order of the District Administration Office, Kathmandu, on February 7.

The DAO stated that "worship, meditation or prayer can be done in places like monasteries, temples, mosques, monasteries and churches by observing public health standards.""I am very happy and delighted to come and worship here. Previously I was here at the temple twice but the temple was shut but this time got to go inside the temple and am feeling very fortunate of myself. I could go inside the temple and offer prayers," Jeetan Katuwal, one of the devotees told ANI.

Earlier, the Pashupatinath temple was closed for visitors from January 18 due to the increase in the infection of the Omicron virus. With the temple reopening after the third-wave devotees from far-flung areas of Nepal thronged the religious site from Friday morning.

"My name is Birat Kumar Nigotiya, I came from Biratnagar to worship at the temple. I am very much excited and happy that I really got to get inside the temple and worship which has been a great pleasure for me," a devotee said.

The reopening of the temple comes ahead of the Shivaratri festival dedicated to Lord Shiva which falls on the fourth day of the waning moon in the month of Falgun, as per the lunar calendar which is also known as Falgun Krishna Chaturdashi is devoted to Lord Shiva. This year Shivaratri will be observed on March 1.

According to Nepal Calendar Determination Committee, Brahma took the form of Shiva in the midnight of Krishna Chaturdashi of Falgun. So this day is observed with prayers, pooja, and visits to Lord Shiva’s shrines. Hindus believe that the observation of the Mahashivaratri brings peace and prosperity to one’s life. (ANI)