Lakhs of devotees pay obeisance to Lord Shiva
Lakhs of devotees paid obeisance to Lord Shiva at various temples, including Neelkanth Mahadev Temple, Tapkeshwar Mahadev Temple, Panchayati temple and Kali temple in Raipur on the occasion of Mahashivratri on Tuesday. However, the celebration had started since Monday night as the devotees, particularly the women, had thronged the local temples to offer prayers to Lord Shiva.
Devotees were seen standing in serpentine queues outside the temples since early morning. The temples resounded with 'Om Namah Shivaya'. Sounds of bells being heard from the temples as part of the rituals added to the religious and festive mood in the temples. The same was found at other temples across the state capital. Dehradun has several revered temples dedicated to the Lord.
The devotees took bath at several ghats in the Ganga to cleanse themselves before offering puja by pouring the holy water on the Shiv Lingam. Kanwads were found in their thousands carrying the holy water collected from Ganga at Rishikesh and Haridwar to their far-off places to pour it down on the Shiv Lingam to mark the occasion.
Most of the devotees, especially the women, in the city observed fasting as part of Shivratri celebration and offered special prayers to Lord Shiva by pouring the holy mixture of milk and water on the Shiv Lingam. The deities were decked with flowers.
At Tapkeshwar Mahadev Temple, known as the place of tapasya for Dronacharya of the Mahabharata era, droves of devotees thronged since early morning. The temple premises resounded with the devotees singing devotional songs in praise of Lord Shiva.
A small Mela was organised at Tapkeshwar Mahadev Temple which saw a large crowd. Bhang known as the quintessential item of the celebration was partaken with abandon by the devotees at the temples. Bhang pakora, bhang mixed in water and other items made of Bhang were sold there on a large scale.
The celebration passed off peacefully with adequate police personnel being deployed within and around the temple premises located across the city.
Moreover, special pujas and bhajans were performed at all the Shiva temples in the city. Things started since Monday evening as the local women plunged in the celebration. It continued till 12 am and thereafter, the devotees started pouring Ganga Jal on Lord Shiva.
Various religious programmes like Hawan, Kirtan and Bhajans were organised at Shiv temples and other religious places, including Kali Mandir at Raipur, Prachin Shiv Mandir at Jakhan and Lakshmi Narayan Mandir at Aaraghar across the city. Lakhs of devotees participated.
Purnima, a devotee found at Tapkeshwar Mahadev Temple, said that she kept thronging the temple on this day every year. “This temple is special as it is here guru Drona meditated for transcendental wisdom. I am elated having poured the sacred water on the Shiv Lingam this year too,” she said.
A priest at Shiv temple based in Jakhan said that Lord Shiva being deemed as a perfect husband, it is an occasion for the women to strengthen the familial bonds through fasting and prayer. “While the married are grateful to the Lord for bestowing them with good husbands the unmarried pray to get husbands like the Lord,” he said.
Arpita Bisht who also offered prayer at Tapkeshwar Temple said that Lord Shiva is mercy and compassion incarnate. He protects the devotees from the negative tendencies like greed and anger, she said.
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