Shivratri Goes Viral In Shimla

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Where Mandi township in Himachal Pradesh had been reverberating with Shiv Pooja for an entire week, other towns in the state also witnessed huge crowds lined outside every small and big Shiv Temple to celebrate Shivratri, the festivities for which concluded here yesterday.

Shivratri happens to be one of the most prominent festivals celebrated in the hill state. Mahi Shivratri in Mandi has in fact garnered the status of being an International festival. Every year it is not only attended by locals, but also draws huge crowds of foreign tourists from across the globe.

Families Line for Shiv Darshan

Families Line for Shiv Darshan

The festival is held in accordance to the Hindu calendar on Krishan Paksha, which happens to be the 13thd day of the waning moon or the 14th new day of Phalgun.

Despite rain and hailstorm in most parts of Himachal, thousands of devotees were seen lined outside temples everywhere, including Shimla.

Ghotta being Served Outside Shiv Mandir, Malyana

Ghotta being Served Outside Shiv Mandir, Malyana

They patiently waited in long queues for their turn for Darshan. They brought along liters of milk for making oblations in temples. They also made offerings of flowers, fruit, honey and also money.

In exchange of these offerings, priests distributed Prasad made with weed, be it Ghota (slurry drink made from weed), pakoras and several other foods in which the main ingredient was the Lord Shiva’s favorite hard stuff.

Among the crowds, youngsters occupied a prominent place in the queues. All of them in high spirits, mostly in want of the kick they’d get from the weed Prasad.

Locals of Badagoan some 15 kilometers from Shimla saw a rush of grueling crowds stranded on narrow paths snaking above on the slopes for Shiva darshan at the Swam Bhu Himeshwer Mahadev temple, also popularly known as Him Tirth.

People wait in Queue for Ghotta

People wait in Queue for Ghotta

Every year this temple in solitude suddenly comes alive on the day of Shivratri. Thousands of people throng the temple from early hours in the morning, till late at night.

After sunset the villagers organize night long prayers and poojas in honor of Lord Shiva. In their inebriated state they sing hymns and dance to the tunes of these melodies. This year was no different; over 4000 people were reported to have visited the place.

Natural Shiv Pindis

Natural Shiv Pindis

From next year we might even see special buses making trips to the temple and providing the much needed transportation.

Other Shiv temples including one in Middle Bazaar, Malyana, Dhalli and several other small Shiv Temples in various localities were also decorated for the occasion and served prasda and bhandaras all day long.

Youth Relishing Shiva's Prasad

Youth Relishing Shiva’s Prasad

Swam Bhu Himeshwer Mahadev temple, Badagoan

Swam Bhu Himeshwer Mahadev temple, Badagoan

Shiv Mandir, Malyana

Shiv Mandir, Malyana

 

Photos by Ashwani

 

Pratima Kalra is our Senior Copywriter and Blogger. She has industry experience of more than two years. An MBA in Marketing and HR, she loves writing and that’s what brings oboard at Himachal Media. An ardent fan of Ayn Rand’s writings, she believes in doing what you love, and loving what you do. Her thoughts clearly reflect in her writings.

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