"The Pashupatinath Temple is safe, we have checked the shrine many times and it has developed no cracks," a devotee at the temple said.

The temple, one of the seven monument groups in UNESCO's designation of Kathmandu Valley as a cultural heritage site, is the oldest Hindu temple in Kathmandu whose existence dates back to 400 AD.

"We are not going to offices, shops and residing at the temple only because we feel it is the safest place to be during this devastating time," said a resident of Kathmandu who lost his family members in the quake on Saturday.

People performing last rites at Pashupatinath Temple and relatives are jostling for space in the vast area inside the temple premises.

However, lack of adequate space forced hundreds to perform the last rites outside the designated spots.The funeral of over 100 people took place within the premise of the landmark temple yesterday, a devotee said.

Mass cremations are being held here continuously. As the death toll rises, the authorities are working on disposing of the bodies as quickly as possible to prevent a health hazard.

"People are conducting the last rites here at the temple without following proper rituals and customs," a relative of a a victim said, citing the rush.

The sacred Hindu temple is dedicated to Pashupatinath (Lord Shiva) and is located on the banks of the Bagmati River. It suffered minor cracks on its boundary wall when the quake jolted Nepal, killing over 3600 people.

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