Sadhus at Pashupatinath Temple for Mahashivaratri  (Photo feature)

23rd Feb, 2017 | Tourism Mail Crew

KATHMANDU: As the Maha Shivaratri festival draws closer, sadhus (holy men) are a ubiquitous sight at the Pashupatinath temple premise, drawing attention of the devotees for more than one reason.

[caption id="attachment_3905" align="alignnone" width="1000"] While some sadhus could be seen sauntering around the temple or just taking a nap, several others gathered around the fire smoking cannabis or having conversation with fellow sadhus[/caption]

Those arriving for the festival are staying at Bhagwatananda Ashram, Nirmal Akhada, Nath Akhada of Gorakhath and Annapurna Akhada, among others.

Pashupati Guthi Goshwara Office, Pashupati Goshwara said that sadhus are allowed to be naked for three days at the premises of Pashupatinath temple beginning from Ekadashi (11th day of the two lunar phases in each lunar month) on Wednesday.  Around 300 naga sadhus are expected to arrive for the festival this year.

The Pashupati Area Development Trust (PADT) is also gearing up for the festival that falls on Friday.

The PADT is expecting some 1.3 million visitors this year from Nepal and neighboring countries as well.