MAHASHIVRATRI is the festival dedicated to the wedding of Lord Shiva with goddess Parvati. Lord Shiva is called the ascetic god of Hindus. This festival is celebrated every year by February end or in early march every year to remember lord Shiva. On this auspicious day, people visit temples to please their deities. There are few places in India where Shivratri is celebrated with a great zeal which are as following.
Varanasi In Uttar Pradesh
Varanasi is known as the spiritual capital of India, the place houses many temples of Lord Shiva and this is the main reason why mahashivratri is celebrated with enthralling energy pomp and fanfare. Millions of pilgrims from far- flung area come to Varanasi to celebrate the festival. People visit Tilbhandeshwar temple dedicated to Lord Shiva to offer their prayers. Several rituals are being performed to please their deity. Here people dance in processions and drink bhang or thandai chanting bumbum bhole.
Mandi In Himachal Pradesh
Here the festival is celebrated with great vigor. The celebration is dedicated to Lord Shiva by the royal family of Mandi. It is said that this festival celebrated for the last 500 years and from that time International Mandi Shivratri fair is also organized every year that attracts many tourists from all over the world. The procession or Shobha yatra is always flagged off by the chief minister of Himachal Pradesh lead by the governor of the state.
Shib Sagar Guwahati In Assam
In Assam, this festival is celebrated in Umananda Temple situated on the peacock island in midst of famous Brahmaputra river in Guwahati Assam. Several devotees visit this temple to celebrate this festival on this pious occasion. Sibsagar being capital of Ahom kingdom is the other place to celebrate Mahashivratri.
Ujjain In Madhya Pradesh
Mahakaleshwar Temple in Ujjain is the most famous and one of the 12 jyotirlingas of India.People visit from all over to celebrate with fanfare this festival in this legendary temple.
Shivsagar Tank In Khajurao
Here people take bath in shivsagar tank in Khajuraho there is beautiful temple near tank. Here lord Shiva’s is worshipped. People pay there homages to their almighty.
Srikalahasti and Srisailam in Andhra Pradesh
Mahashivratri being celebrated here with great zeal. Several devotees visit this place to offer prayers. The festival is also celebrated at Kalahasteshwara temple with great enthusiasm at Bharamarahbha temple srisailam devotees pray to Lord Shiva.
Puri In Odisha
Loknath temple of Puri is the venue to celebrate where this festival is celebrated with a great enthusiasm. It is said that Lord Rama himself placed Shivlinga at famous Loknath temple. Thousands of devotees come here to receive blessings from Lord Mahadeva.
Mahashivratri In West Bengal
Here too people observe fast to please their god. People bring sand from pious ganga sagar and construct four idols to worship at four different times. These Shivlings are then bathed by milk and curd ghee and honey.
Mahashivratri In Jammu & Kashmir
Here in the state of Jammu and Kashmir people celebrate this festival for 21 days in a very significant way. Two pots signify lord Shiva and Parvati. These pots are filled with water and a walnut, on third day water is taken out from pots and is distributed to family members in the form of the Prasad. On the last day gifts are distributed amongst the family members.
Mahashivratri is the festival of Hindu women too. During this day is believed that fasting will bring good luck in their families. Temples are decorated with flowers and lights and devotees roar to the sound of ‘OM NAMAH SHIVAY’.