More than 750,000 Hindu devotees turned up at the Pashupati area on the Maha Shivaratri festival on Monday.
According to the Pashupati Area Development Trust (PADT), over half a million people visited the temple from early morning to 3 pm and additional 250,000 people were estimated by 7:30 pm. A large number of foreign tourists was also seen at Pashupati area.
Six thousand police personnel were deployed to ensure security during the festival along with 10,000 volunteers to manage the crowd of devotees.
PADT officials said the turnout of the visitors was far more than estimated, admitting lapses in the management as tensed situation was witnessed frequently in the queues of devotees. "We have to admit that our crowd control mechanism could not be effective this time around," said Sushil Nahata, member secretary of the Trust.
At least 20 people were injured in the pushing and pulling in areas designated for the devotees staying in the queues.
Around 8,000 Sadhus and naked babas have arrived at the Pashupati area from various parts of the country and India, according to the PADT. Lodging and food accommodation has been arranged for the Sadhus with the assistance of different religious trusts, guthis and social organisations.
President, Vice President visit Pashupatinath
President Dr Ram Baran Yadav and vice president Paramananda Jha went to Pashupatinath temple for worshiping in the evening.
The two VVIPs visited the temple amid huge security. They stayed in the temple premises for around 25 minutes during which the movement of the devotees in some parts of Pashupati was blocked. nepalnews.com