Maha Shivaratri at Pashupatinath Temple

posted in: Photo Stories | 16

The Maha Shivaratri festival, also popularly known as ‘Shivaratri’ or ‘Great Night of Shiva’ is a Hindu festival celebrated annually in reverence of the god Shiva. It is celebrated by Hindus all over the world with much vigor and gaiety. In Nepal, millions of Hindus from different parts of the world come to the Pashupatinath Temple, one of the holiest Shiva temples in the world; to celebrate the festival. It is celebrated on the fourteenth day of the waning moon phase during the lunar month of ‘Falguna’; this year it was on the 17th of February.

As a photographer, for me, the highlights of the festival are the colorful Sadhus (religious ascetic) that come to Pashupatinath from different parts of Nepal and India, and them smoking marijuana. Both are very interesting subjects for photography and just like the devotees, photographers from all over the world come to capture these too. Here are some of my photographs taken at the Pashupatinath temple during the festival.

Pashupatinath temple
Pashupatinath temple and shrines around it decorated with lights on the Night of Shiva
Sadhu proud of his beard
Sadhu displaying his hair
A sadhu praying to the rising sun
A sadhu applying ‘tika’ decorations on his face


The sadhu after he finished applying his face decoration
A female sadhu, knows as ‘Sadhwi’
A young sadhu
Sadhu’s blessings
A group of sadhus chatting
Sadhu smoking marijuana
A sadhu with is personalized marijuana pipe
Marijuana puffs
A colorful sadhu blowing out the smoke
Blowing up the smoke to Shiva for his blessings
A tourist helps a sadhu to light his cigarette
A crowd of photographers taking picture of a Sadhu and some curious onlookers
Professional photographer and his team photographing a sadhu
Sadhu photographing a group of tourists with his camera phone

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16 Responses

  1. Arjun Bhadra Khanal

    As always, appreciate your portrait shots for their clarity and natural colors, great. Would have been helpful for learners like us if the photos had their exif also. Looks like some of them are from previous year festival.

    • Thank you Arjun ji for appreciating them. I thought it was a little too much effort writing down EXIF for all the photos posted here ๐Ÿ™‚ some of them are from as far back as 2012.

  2. Great photographs sir.
    Puffs look amazing!! ๐Ÿ˜€

  3. gazzab cha dai photo haroo

  4. Sunny Thapa

    some of the finest collections from Om dai.. super likes dai..

  5. soo beautiful pic sir…

  6. wow so nice photography.
    i like it.

  7. Jaeho Hur

    Namaste, Om Ji. Today I happened to browse an article about your photo life in the Kathmandu Post. so nice to know a famous nepalese photographer. send a message of support from south Korea.

  8. satish kumar chaudhary

    awesome shots Om dai …really all pics are so nice, the way you captured snap amazing.

  9. All dongi babas and unfit for either society or spirituality

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