Among a number of festivals celebrated in the Hindu culture, one of the most important is the Maha Shivaratri. According to the Hindu calendar, the festival is celebrated on the new moon day in the month of Maagh. The day celebrates an important deity in the Hindu culture-Lord Shiva.
The celebratory day marks the arrival of numerous tourists, especially from India to visit Pashupatinath Temple. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva where on this very day, a long line of eager lord Shiva worshippers wait for their turn to offer their prayers. Among the tourists who come to pay a visit, most of them are Sadhus and Yogis. It is not unusual to see them covered in ash and smoking marijuana at or around the temple. For other tourists, one of the attractions of Shivaratri is seeing Sadhus and Yogi babas. Preparations for the festival can be observed few days earlier with vendors selling vermillion and sacred beads around the temple.
The history of Shivaratri has many mythological legends. One legend speaks of poison coming out of the ocean during Samundra Manthan. Lord Shiva drank the poison to protect the people. However, instead of killing him, the poison turned him blue. Hence the name “Neel Kantha”. The day is observed in honor of Shiva saving the people. In another legend, Shiva Lingam was rested beneath a tree when a hunter waited for his kill. In order to attract the deer, the hunter threw the leaves of the tree on the ground. Witnessing the patience of the hunter, Shiva appeared in front of the hunter and blessed him.
The age-old tradition is celebrated nation wide with rallies, bon fires and parades. Celebrated especially at night, devotees stay up all night offering their prayers to the God by staying in tents in Pashupati temple vicinity. The militaries conduct a special program dedicated to Shivaratri at Tudikhel where designated militaries paragliding from a plane and land on the ground at Tudikhel. Children block the roads with a rope for fun while grownups visit Pashupatinath Temple and make bonfires at night and celebrate the triumph of light against the dark.
Being centrally located in the heart of Kathmandu, Hotel Roadhouse is only 4.6km from Pashupatinath temple. The hotel is a perfect location for tourists who wish to experience the wonder that is Kathmandu. The celebration of Shivaratri is nation-wide and tourists who get to witness this day will definitely get an unforgettable experience.