Pashupatinath, the Lord of Animals, is among the oldest in the Hindu pantheon of gods and goddesses. Scientific findings prove that Lord God Shiva was worshipped in this form, among others, in the Indian subcontinent before the permanent settlement of the Aryans. Archaeological excavations at Mohenjodaro and Harappa in Pakistan prove that he was worshipped there in the second millennium BC. Pashupati is worshipped by Hindus from all over the world. In the beginning there may only have been a shrine there, but Pashupati had become a state deity by the seventh century. Dated sculptures and inscriptions proved that he worship place definitely existed by the fifth century. According to an old chronicle of Nepal, the temple was at once a five-story structure. The present two-story structure was built in the seventeenth century. The temple is square in shape. Many decorative and functional structures were added to it from time to time. The temple courtyard is full of shrines of various sized, and the whole area is a complex of statues and worship places. The temple has a sloping roof supported by wooden beams and struts. The struts are called toranas (meaning: "ankle bone" in Newari). In between these beautifully carved and highly decorative struts are screened windows. A golden pinnacle tops the temple. Hindu shrines face specific directions for specific gods. Bhairav faces south, Ganesh faces east, Narayan west, and the Nawadurgar (the nine mother goddesses) north. The courtyard of Pashupati may be approached from the marked of Deopatan to the west, from the Aryaghat burning grounds to the east, from a quadrangle of sixty-four Shiva lingams to the south, and from the Rudrakeswar of Kailash to the north. Sultan Samasuddhin from Bengal invaded Nepal in the fourteenth century and vandalized Pashupati and Swayambhu along with other heritage sites. He broke the main Shiva linga, and the present one was installed several years later. Since then, statues and shrines have been offered to Pashupati and the area is now rich and elegant. It is clear that he temple was built on a cliff and that he Bagmati flowed through a narrow gorge at the time. To avoid erosion, the ghats were made and steps were raised. The best place to watch Pashupati is from the hill opposite Aryaghat. One can see the temple, the activities on the ghat, and the Panchaderal complex. Many trees on this hill are not indigenous, but have been imported from as far away as Argentina. Pines and monkey puzzle trees help make the area attractive. A short climb from here takes one to the courtyards of Viswarupa, Gorakhnath, Tribhuwan Parameswar, and old shrine of Kirateswar, a shrine of Gauri, and the Kailas area where many Shava lingas, some of them more than 1,400 years old, are scattered. From Kailas there are steps descending to the main entrance of Pashupati. A peep into the courtyard of Pashupati reveals an enormous gilded bell. The silver doors of the main temple shine brightly. As one of the oldest temples in Nepal, this is an open museum of sculptural art. The fifteenth-century image of Vishnu Vikrana here depicts the dwarf incarnation of Vishnu. A half-buried Buddha, a huge Shiva Linga placed on a monolithic pedestal, and sculptures of Yama, Saraswati, Umamaheswara, Ardha Savriswara (half Shiva and half Vishnu), and the Garuda Narayan are among the most outstanding stone sculptures in the area. The terra cotta Vishnu is an excellent eighteenth-century example of this art form. Other terra cotta pieces include two devotees worshipping a Shiva lingam. In the Deopatan area, the temple of Bhavareswari and the rest houses of Panchaderal complex have some of the best woodcarving preserved in the Valley. Pashupati is a unique example of religious toleration of Nepal, too. There are some very early Buddhist sculptures here. A lingam, now lost, was named Karunikeswar, another name of the Buddha. The Pashupati Area Development Trust is doing an excellent job of keeping the place clean, and a catalog of shrines, statues art-works in the area has been completed. Source: Nepalexpress.com.np This footage is part of the professionally-shot broadcast stock footage archive of Wilderness Films India Ltd., the largest collection of imagery from South Asia. The Wilderness Films India collection comprises of thousands of hours of high quality broadcast imagery, mostly shot on HDCAM 1080i High Definition, HDV and XDCAM. Write to us for licensing this footage on a broadcast format, for use in your production! We are happy to be commissioned to film for you or else provide you with broadcast crewing and production solutions across South Asia. We pride ourselves in bringing the best of India and South Asia to the world... Reach us at wfi @vsnl.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.