If you have ever been to Rajasthan, you will agree that its beauty lies in its sand dunes. Rajasthan is like no other state in India! A trip to this beautiful state of folk songs, forts, and palaces will leave you asking for more. While most travelers plan a visit to Jaipur the pink city, there are other cities in Rajasthan that deserve a special mention too. One such holy site in Rajasthan, that you must visit is Harni Mahadev. Everywhere you step foot, men with brightly colored turbans will greet you with folded palms!
Harni Mahadev is situated just 6 kilometers from the city of Bhilwara in Rajasthan. A hilly region and home to a famous waterfall and the Chamunda Mata temple, this pilgrim center has a charisma of its own. A visit to this pilgrimage site also offers panoramic views of the city that will leave you spellbound. Every year, several hundred pilgrims head to Harni Mahadev during, Mahashivaratri and Shravan to perform various rites and rituals.
Harni Mahadev Temple
Nestled in the green mountains, under a large stone near the waterfall is the famous ‘Shivling’ of Harni Mahadev. The very sight of the Shivling under the waterfalls is spellbinding and evokes true devotion.
A three-day fair is held every year during Shivratri when large crowds gather together to offer prayers. Pilgrims offer sweets, coconuts, flowers and even milk as a part of their prayers. According to locals, women of marriageable age, pour milk on the Shivling to be blessed with a caring husband, just as Shiva is to Parvathi. Religious pujas are performed on the auspicious day of Shivaratri and also on other days. There is a popular belief that whoever pours milk on the lingam on the auspicious day of Shivaratri gets to undo his wrongdoings.
Apart from the ‘lingam’ of Lord Shiva, the temple also has a brass Nandi (Shiva’s vehicle, a bull) as well. While Lord Shiva – the Supreme Being in the universe, is worshipped with great fervor at the temple, his vehicle, the Nandi or the bull is also considered equally sacred. Devotees perform pujas to Nandi, who is considered to be the epitome of both ignorance and power.
According to locals, when Lord Shiva mounts the back of his bull, He bestows upon His devotees, the power of wisdom and eradicates all ignorance. The bull also called Vrisha in Sanskrit stands for Dharma or righteousness.
The Shivaratri Fair
Harni Mahadev lights up during Shivratri. Every year a grand fair is held and several tourists flock to the temple to offer their prayers to the deity and enjoy the festivities. Held on the Krishna Chaturdashi or the fourteenth day of the declining moon, in the month of Phalguna (February to March), the Shivaratri fair goes on for eight or ten days.
A number of rituals and pujas are performed to please the Lord and seek his blessings during Shivratri. Devotees can revel in the festivities and take part in the many rituals that begin at dawn and go on until dusk.
Apart from pujas and rituals, devotees can also enjoy shopping for ‘joothis’ and other Rajasthani fare in the many stalls that are put up during the fair. That is not all. A number of food stalls serving Rajasthani delicacies like ‘daal baati’, ‘Gatte ki Khichdi’, add fun and color to the Maha Shivratri.
How to reach Harni Mahadev?
Harni Mahadev is very well connected. There are a number of buses and taxis that ply to Harni Mahadev from Bhilwara every hour. The nearest railhead is the Bhilwara railway station. You may also simply flag down a rickshaw that will take you to Harni Mahadev for under Rs. 50.
When at Harni Mahadev, be sure to pay a visit to Chamunda Mata temple too. This temple is well connected by a road and sits atop a small hillock. You will be greeted with panoramic views of the entire city once you reach the top of the hill.
The best time to visit Harni Mahadev is during Shivaratri in the month of Phalguna. You may also plan a visit to this pilgrim site during Shravan festival. While there are several tourist attractions to visit in Rajasthan, a trip to Harni Mahadev is fulfilling in many ways. Harni Mahadev is a perfect weekend getaway for the nature lover, weary traveler, and the devotee in you!
Featured Photo by RameshSharma1