KATMANDU, NEPAL, January 3, 2022 (New York Times by Shelby Tauber): At the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, with travel restrictions in place worldwide, the New York Times launched a new series — The World Through a Lens — in which photojournalists help transport you, virtually, to some of our planet’s most compelling places. This week, Shelby Tauber shares a collection of images from a Hindu festival in Nepal.

Every year, thousands of celebrants gather at Pashupatinath in honor of Shiva, one of Hinduism’s three most revered Gods. Attendees of Maha Shivaratri mark the holy festival with a range of prayers and rituals. Devotees begin bathing in the river at sunrise, and descend the ghats throughout the day to be cleansed. A puja, or worship ritual, is performed every three hours on the Shiva lingam by bathing it with water, milk and honey alongside offerings of fruit, sandalwood paste and incense. “Om Namah Shivaya,” the sacred mantra of Shiva, echoes through the temple complex to invoke the inner consciousness and invite clarity and prosperity. Some participants observe a fast, while others aim to stay awake all through the night.

More on Ms. Tauber’s February 2020 visit to Pashupatinath at: