Sadhus of Pashupatinath Temple
Pashupatinath, or Pashupati, is a Hindu temple on the banks of the Bagmati River in Deopatan, a village 3 km northwest of Kathmandu. It is dedicated to a manifestation of Shiva called Pashupati (Lord of Animals). It attracts thousands of pilgrims each year and has become well known far beyond the Kathmandu Valley. The temple is barred to non-Hindus, but a good view of the temple can be had from the opposite bank of the river.
Pashupatinath focuses a fair amount of sadhus. A Sadhu is a man “saint” who devoted himself to asceticism and prayer and charity lives. Most of the time his hair and beard are disproportionately long. He is clothed in saffron color to show its wishful thinking. This is not a hermit, but rather a perpetual pilgrim. There are those that you come across on the way to the temple, it is rather true devotees who do not want to be mistaken for “phenomena” to shoot, which is understandable with dignity.
There are others with well-ironed clothes, like a parade of fashion, neat, makeup developed hair (!) Living well plump for some, in the shadow of chattyas climbing up the attack the hill Mrigasthali. They await tourists and are always ready to strike a pose for an rupees.
It is also very common to meet sadhus in Pahsupathinath. Sadhus are wandering ascetic yogis, who are trying to acquire liberation from the cycle of death and rebirth by meditating. They have very unique appearance with specific yellow paintings on their bodies.
Majority of sadhus are very tourist friendly and eager to pose for the photos with foreigners, but it is not free of charge. They live in caves or tiny cells on the territory of Pashupatinath. Sadhus have extremely ascetic and even miserable life but for a Westerner their independent and unconstrained behavior looks mysterious.
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