Monkeys: Pashupatinath Temple`s Holy Animals


Primates which are not human are monkeys. Around 264 species of monkeys are known till date. Monkeys are usually divided into old monkeys and new world monkeys, old world monkeys live in Africa and New World monkeys live in South America. About 14 genres and 70 species of monkeys of Old World monkeys which are of the Cercopithecidae Family. Monkeys are found in Nepal usually in the Pashupatinath area, the Shyambunath area, the Thapathali area, and so on. The major habitat of Monkeys is historical places and Bagmati Bridge, and the forest area around these sites. They have a very good presence in religious places.

Pashupatinath Temple is being historical and religious site total of 1352 monkeys were noted and 85% of monkeys in whole Nepal are found in Pashupatinath Temple. The surrounding area of Pashupati Nath temple is gardened by grassland, shrub trees, and gardens. Macaca mulatta, Macaca assamensis, and slender long-tailed monkey which is known as Presbytis entellus. Macaca mukatta is the dominant one in Pashupatinath Temple. Macaca mulatta monkeys in Kathmandu come in contact with people and they have been habituated to the environment. Due to this reason, there is a high chance of contamination of zoonotic and anthroponotic diseases between monkeys and humans. The Macaca mulatta is also known as the Rhesus monkey as the common name. Pashupati is located at the bank of the Bagmati river having a parkland habitat with a high variety of trees and shrubs and natural foods to the monkeys. As the religious perception Monkeys are considered as holy to Hindus and Tibet Buddas. Monkeys are worshipped as “Hanuman” as a symbol of the god.

The behavior of monkeys is very interesting as they are fast and flexible, angry and aggressive, and many more. These behaviors help them to stay flexible in their natural environment and get safe from the enemy. Till the date, there have not any kind of dangerous disease in monkeys but it’s difficult for monkeys in surviving in the environment. The normal life spam of monkeys is 15 years and bears around 1 to 3 babies once in a year in their reproductive phase. They usually do not migrate and take very good care of their offsprings. They feed their babies with the mother’s milk only but they do not feed their babies with the food they search for. Monkeys usually become mature at the age of 4 to 5. The female ones are attracted to the biggest and strongest male. The average range of 51 to 73.5 cm of height and have 15 to 30 cm long tail. These animals feed on vegetables, food provided by people around, fruits on trees, and so on around 5 to 10 kg. 

They have a variety of sounds they use such as chatter, clicking, and high pitch yelling which can be heard from long distances too. These sounds also help them to warn and take good care of their young. This sound also helps them to prevent from other groups also. They also use nonverbal communication to show emotions. Snuggling a baby is a way for the mom to protect it. They show facial expressions to express love, hate, anger, and affection. Scientists said their mind is compared to 3 yr. child of human in intelligence.

Due to high consumption of junk food and pollution, their immune system is decreasing day by day, hearing loss, falling of body hair, and decreasing lifespan. There is seen malnutrition in newly born babies. Their feeding behavior also affects the new growth of the plant and do not support vegetation.


  1. DOI:
07 July 2022
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