Thousands of Hindu devotees travelled to the Pashupatinath temple in Kathmandu to observe the annual Bala Chaturdashi festival.

Bala Chaturdashi
A Hindu devotee lights an oil lamp in memory of deceased family members Prakash Mathema/ AFP

Situated in the Sleshmantak forest, the Pashupatinath temple is considered to be the most sacred of Lord Shiva and sees Hindus from across Nepal and India travel to the Nepalese capital each year for the annual event. Bala Chaturdashi falls in late November or early December in Gregorian calendar.

Bala Chaturdashi
A Nepalese Hindu devotee lights oil lamp in memory of deceased family members Prakash Mathema/ AFP

An all night vigil marks the beginning of Bala Chaturdashi, where people light oil candles to remember loved ones who have died. Devotees chant and dance among the dimly lit candles, paying honour to Lord Shiva. This is followed by a ritual bathing in the Baghmati river – the holiest river in Nepal. Seeds are sown around the temple in the name of departed family members and in observance of the festival. It is believed that by doing this, they can secure a better place in heaven for their deceased relatives. Devotees travel to as many temples as they can in and around Pashupatinath where they worship religious idols, before the festival ends. IBTimesUK presents some of the best photos from the Hindu festival so far: