KATHMANDU, NEPAL, March 10, 2013 (My Republica): Around one million Hindu pilgrims visited the Pashupatinath temple on the occasion of Mahashivaratri in the Capital on Sunday. The officials of Pashupati Area Development Trust (PADT) said that more Hindu devotees from several other Asian countries visited the temple this year as a result of the positive impression it created about the festival months in advance. Though most of the foreign Hindu devotees came from neighboring India, pilgrims from as far as Malaysia, Singapore, Maldives and Bangladesh also arrived in large numbers this time, said PADT member secretary Sushil Nahata.
However, the festival saw fewer yogis and sadhus compared to the past years. Nahata said that only around 3,000 to 5,000 sadhus and Naga babas visited the temple this year due to the ongoing Kumbha Mela in India. Some 7,000 babas had visited Pashupatinath last year. The PADT had created three entry points for the visitors from Tilganga, Gaushala and Mitrapark. The traffic police had been deployed in the area to restrict vehicles, which were diverted. The trust made special arrangements this year, adding a number of temporary toilets, health camps and tents especially for elderly and the people with disability.