The first word that comes to anyone’s mind when he hears the word ‘Pashupatinath’ is the temple in Kathmandu in Nepal. But very few of us know that we have a very spirited Pashupatinath temple lies in the heart of India too in Mandsaur district of Madhya Pradesh.
How to reach Pashupatinath Temple?
Situated on the northwest of MP, almost south of Rajasthan, Mandsaur is very well-connected to railways and roadways. Some trains connect Mandsaur to Delhi, Mumbai, Bhopal, and Chittorgarh. However, for more convenient time schedules of the rail, people opt for Ratlam, which is the next most significant junction to Mandsaur and which is even better connected, is situated midway on the Delhi – Mumbai rail route. The road connectivity is superb too. MP Road transport and private buses both run from adjoining cities Ratlam, Indore, Ujjain, Chittoor and Udaipur. There is no airport yet, but one can opt for coming via road or rail from Udaipur or Indore airports.
The temple is said to be self – existent or “swayambhu” or as it is called. As the local story goes, there was once a washerman who used to wash clothes on a stone in the river. One day, he got a dream that Shiv Ji is asking him to relieve the pain and take him out of the water. But his friends were not convinced. So, he started digging the stone out of mud, Soon others joined and realized that it is two layered eight faced Shivlinga (Nepal temple is four faced). Each of the eight faces portrays a different emotion of Lord Shiva.
In spite of being a temple so revered, a decisive point of the Pashupatinath temple is you never sense the atmosphere of a religious business hub as most famous temples these days are made out to be. One can easily spend time with the deity and is permitted to sit in the chamber of the temple and chant hymns if he wishes to. No one would push him away. In fact, people offering water, flowers, touch the shivlinga and even take selfies with it for hours and nobody would drag you out.
The temple is located at a scenic location on the bank of the river Shivna and is often used as a picnic spot for tourists. There are annual fairs in winters which serve as platforms for rural artisans to showcase their talent. One must try the local cuisines – garandu, kachori, sugarcane juice and sev parmal, without which the trip is incomplete.