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Dirgha Raj Prasai | HENB | Kathmandu | Feb 25, 2016:: Nearly 1.2 million devotees from India and Nepal thronged the famous 5th century Pashupatinath temple in Kathmandu on Friday on the occasion of Mahashivratri festival.
Security was beefed up with the deployment of 6,000 security personnel in the vicinity of the temple situated on the banks of the Bagmati river for the annual Mahashivratri festival to be observed on Saturday.
Over 6,000 policemen from Nepal Police, Armed Police Force and National Investigation Department have been mobilised to maintain law and order, said superintendent of police Pradyumna Kumar Karki, chief of the Kathmandu Metropolitan Police.
The visitors from within and outside the country started pouring into the temple premises from 3.30 a.m. on Friday.
Govinda Tandon, member secretary of the Pashupati Area Development Trust (PADT), informed that there were around 600,000 devotees who had offered puja at the temple by 6 p.m. on Friday.
As the main theme of the festival is to stay up all night reciting hymns, the temple remained open till Saturday morning, he added.
He claimed that around 1.2 million people arrived in the Pashupati area to observe the festival of Mahashivaratri on Friday.
This time, the PADT ended the practice of issuing paid tickets to visitors for prompt access to the temple.
Sadhus (ascetics) visiting Pashupatinath from India and elsewhere were happy with the festival arrangement, Tandon claimed. There were around 150 Indian sadhus in Pashupatinath on the occasion, he said.