How to Visit Ram Ghat, Pashupatinath Temple
This is a quick overview of logistical requirements and facts as well as links to a full written narrative, photos and videos. This is a self-guided cultural experience on a shoestring. Follow the links to dig deeper into the article.
Total Cost Range of this Activity is: $
It costs 1000 Rs or $13 (2016 price) for foreigners to enter the ghat area. It is collected at the main entrance near the temple. Access does not include the actual Pashupatinath Temple which is strictly limited to Hindu’s. However the vast area of burning platforms and stone pillars along the shore of the river are open to all. Note that visitors (and especially westerners) are welcomed and encouraged to get up close and personal with the ceremonies. There are 7 burning platforms (for the different casts) and there is usually a few cremations in process at any given time. Photos ok.
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You can avoid the fee if you enter area on foot from the northern fields. Walk along the fence above the temple area heading east. The fence has openings or no longer present as the ground drops steeply down to the river. You will emerge upstream of the ghats in a small temple complex. Follow the paths across the river or downstream. Once in the area no one asks for your ticket or a fee.
You should generally avoid the Hindu holidays since the area will have long-long lines of Hindus waiting to get into the actual temple. On these days I did not wait in line since I couldn’t visit the temple anyway. I went to the front of the cue and the police/military always lifted the barrier and let me proceed. I explained this to quite a few westerners that were waiting in lines that could take a few hours to clear. Unless you are Hindu and want to enter the temple, just go to the front of the line.