Last Updated on November 21, 2022 by Adnan Ali
Mahashivratri is the one of the most popular festivals in India and celebrated with a lot of zeal by Shiva devotees. The literal meaning of the word is “the greatest night of Lord Shiva” and there are many different stories related to this day.
There is a high level of energy in the human body on this special night and Lord Shiva is worshipped throughout the night. The festivities begin in evening and continue till the next morning. People sing, dance and recite the mantras, songs and bhajans dedicated to Shiva. It falls on the 13th night and 14th day of Phalgun month according to Hindu calendar. This festival calls in for a majestic celebration and here are the top 5 places to celebrate Mahashivratri in India:
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Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh has many Shiva temples and all of them have large crowds visiting every year on Mahashivratri. Kashi Vishwanath temple is one of the legendary Lord Shiva temples in India and a Jyotirlinga too. Among all the stories behind Mahashivratri, one says that it is the night when Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati got married. So, there are big processions where artists dress up as the God and Goddess and give blessings to the devotees. It symbolizes the union of Shiva and Parvati and people also host grand feasts to celebrate their marriage.
The city is filled with joy and cheer with a spiritual vibe everywhere. The roads are packed and you can see long queues of Shiva devotees outside the temples. Both Indian and foreign tourists can be seen around the city who come to experience this amazing time of the year. People take bath in the holy river Ganga, worship Lord Shiva and observe fast as well.
Mahashivaratri in Mandi, Himachal Pradesh is celebrated with grandeur. The International Mandi Shivratri Fair is incredibly famous which starts on the day of Shivratri and continues for 7 days. It has a very joyous atmosphere full of excitement and fun in this town during the Mandi Mela. All of the deities in the town are brought together and worshipped by the locals. The devotees offer prayers to the main God “Mado Rai” (Lord Vishnu) and Lord Shiva in Bhootnath temple. Mandi is also known as the “Varanasi in the hills”.
There is a 10 day long celebration at Srisaila Devasthanam located in Srisailam. The events begin before Mahashivratri and each day has a special program planned with great fervour. Arrangements are made on an exceptionally large scale at the temple and many devotees visit this place to participate in the religious festival. It marks the marriage of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati and this ten day event is called the Shivratri Brahmotsav.
Lord Mallikarjuna Swamy is worshipped and His marriage ritual (Kalyanotsavam) with Goddess Bhramaramba is conducted on Mahashivratri. Lakhs of devotees attend this magnanimous event and partake in the wonderful celebration revering Lord Shiva.
Srikalahasteeswara temple in Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh is a very well-known pilgrimage site. It is also known as the “Kailash of the South” and many devotees visit this temple to pay homage to Lord Shiva on Mahashivratri. The temple is beautifully decorated with lights and rangolis around and the people are in a festive mood.
Various cultural programs are also arranged throughout the Maha Sivaratri Brahmotsavam. The preparations are done perfectly to welcome all the devotees attending the festival celebration and Lord Shiva is worshipped with great devotion and an all-night vigil (Jaagran) is also conducted.
Ujjain is one of the most visited pilgrim spot in India and also the best place to celebrate Mahashivratri. The Mahakaleshwar temple here hosts a great celebration on the occasion of Shiv ratri. The city is all decked up with stunning decorations and has a lot of visitors on this auspicious day each year. Lord Shiva is worshipped with devotion and the complete aura is filled with festive vibes.
There is a fair for 10 days and devotees enjoy this festival as well as offer prayers to Shiva at the Mahakaleshwar temple. It is decorated so beautifully that the sight is worth not missing and the holy rituals are also followed as per the traditions.
Mahashivratri celebration in India is done with dedication where people perform Lord Shiva’s Puja at home and temples, conduct Jaagran and chant the mantras to please the Lord.
The best places to visit on Shivaratri in India are mentioned above and you can visit any of these to experience the magnificence on the great night of Shiva.
Wishing you and your family a Happy Mahashivratri!!