Thursday, March 03, 2011
'Mahashivratri is celebrated through the night with chanting and prayers. I got up at four in the morning and went to the nearby Shiva temple to offer prayers. I also prepared special sweets for the occasion,' said Radha Misra, a homemaker in Delhi. 'While women and young girls observe a daylong fast, it is also believed that sincere worship of Lord Shiva on this day absolves one of all sins,' said Pawan, a student of Delhi's St. Stephens College.
More than 50,000 devotees, including women, visited the Akhandalamani temple at Aradi in Bhadrak district of Orissa, officials said. Similarly, a large number of devotees were seen at the Loknath temple in Puri, about 56 km from state capital Bhubaneshwar, in Huma in the western district of Sambalpur and Vedvyas in Sundergarh district.
- In Agra city, Shiv baraats were accompanied with people dressed up as ghosts and demons.
- In Karnataka's Banglore, hundreds of men, women and youth stood in queues to witness special poojas like 'rudrabhisheka' (pouring of water, milk, honey, curd and ghee on Shivlinga). The 65-feet Shiva in east Bangalore and a 122-feet statue at Murudeshwar in Uttara Kannada drew large number of devotees.
- The major event on this day in Kerala is at the Shiva temple on the banks of Periyar river at Aluva near Kochi. 'More than a lakh devotees turn up and the main ritual is offerings for the dead. People take bath in the river and remain awake the whole night. It is a great experience to be part of the celebrations,' said Manjula Nair, a resident of Thiruvananthapuram.
- In Andhra Pradesh, thousands queued up at the famous Srikalahasti temple near Tirupati in Chittoor district to participate in the rituals. Thousands of devotes from Tamil Nadu and Karnataka have also descended at Srikalahasti.
- Large-scale celebrations were also on at Mallikarjuna Swamy temple at Srisailam. The devotees, who fast during the day, will take part in special rituals at night.
- Thousands thronged Keesergutta temple near Hyderabad and other temples in Telangana as many devotees from the region could not travel to Srikalahasti or Srisailam due to rail blockade by pro-Telangana groups Tuesday.
- In Madhya Pradesh's Ujjain town, the festival was celebrated in Mahakaal temple, who is considered an incarnation of Lord Shiva. Mahashivratri was also observed with fervor across the state including in Ujjain, Khajuraho, Indore, Saagar and state capital Bhopal.
- In neighboring Nepal, a predominantly Hindu country, the centre of attraction was Pashupatinath, the 7th century paGoda shrine housed in a complex containing over 400 other temples, big and small.
- Crowds also spilled out from the packed Jaleshwor temple in Mahottari in southern Nepal, Halesi Mahadev temple in Khotang in eastern Nepal and the Shiva temple in Dang in southwest Nepal.
- Pashupatinath resembled a carnival site with pennants fluttering in the breeze, twinkling lights and hordes of sadhus with their faces and bodies smeared with white ash over which were painted various symbols in vivid red and yellow.