Pashupatinath Temple - History

History

The temple was erected anew in the 17th century by King Bhupendra Malla after the previous building had been consumed by termites. Countless further temples have been erected around this two -storied temple. These include the Vaishnava temple complex with a Ram temple from the 14th century and the Guhyeshwari temple mentioned in an 11th-century manuscript. The priests who perform the services at this temple have been Bhat-Brahmins from South India (Karnataka 2010) origin since last 350 years. The priests of Pashaputinath are called Bhattas and the chief priest is called Mool Bhatt or Raval. The chief priest is answerable only to the King of Nepal and reports to him on temple matters on a periodic basis.

This tradition is reported to have started by the request of Adi Shankaracharya who sought to unify the different states of Bharatam (Unified India) by encouraging cultural exchange. The unique feature of this temple is that only 4 priests can touch the deity. This tradition is supposed to have started by Sage Shankaracharya in 8th century, ostensibly to stop human sacrifice which was prevalent in that temple. This procedure is also followed in other temples around India which were sanctified by Adi Shankaracharya. Malla kings honoured the request of Adi shankarachaya as latter being one of the greatest ever Hindu acharyas.

However,this tradition was broken after the historic political revolution in Nepal which demolished the monarchy and established a secular republic. The newly formed government allowed Nepalese priest to worship by discontinuing the centuries old tradition. There was a widespread protests as many thought this as an interference in their religious tradition.

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