Hindu devotees all over Nepal are celebrating the great festival of Mahashivaratri by worshipping Lord Shiva at various rivers, ponds and temples since early Monday morning.
The Pashupatinath temple, situated in the heart of the capital Kathmandu and regarded as the most revered and famous Shiva temple in the world, gets a higher number of devotees.
This day is celebrated on the fourteenth day of the lunar month of Falgun and is believed to instill faith in those destined to live in trouble.
The religious belief is that if one offers milk, Dhaturo (a kind of intoxicating plant) and 'Belpatra' to Lord Shiva and observes a night-long fasting, he/she will receive heavenly blessings.
The festival which is regarded as a national festival consists of "warming" Lord Shiva in the belief that the Lord also feels cold on this day and people organize bonfires at public squares, houses, temples and shrines and perform prayers to please Lord Shiva.
Four kinds of worships will be performed in four phases Monday night, while classical dances are performed at the Kailashkut and Kirateswor Music Ashram.
In Kathmandu, thousands of devotees from within and outside the country, predominantly from India, throng the Pashupatinath temple from early morning and queue up for hours for the darshan of Lord Shiva.
According to the Pashupati Area Development Trust, arrangements have been made to provide security, accommodation, food, medical and communication facilities to the visiting devotees.