Mahashivratri 2019: 18 Best Places to Celebrate Shivaratri in India & Nepal
MahaShivratri is celebrated every year with great joy as the night of Lord Shiva. It is celebrated in the month of Phalgun in every luni-solar month of the calendar of Hindus. It is the night of victory of good over evil and truth over false. It is also celebrated as the night of reunion of Lord Shiva with Goddess Parvati. Lord Shiva is the symbol of power, victory and great wisdom in the context of the Hindu religion.
This festival marks victory, forgiveness, and honesty. It is believed that if you’re a true Shiva devotee, you shall definitely succeed in your tasks and goals. In Nepal too, Shivratri is a great festival for all the Nepalese Hindus. In the past, Nepal was a Hindu country so the Hindu related cultures are quite popular among the people in the country. Nepal has some of the best Shiva devoted places that the Shiva devotees have to visit at least once in their lifetime. Here we provide you the top ten of the places that you need to visit in Nepal for the celebration of the auspicious occasion of the MahaShivratri.
Mahashivratri 2019: 18 Best Places to Celebrate Shivaratri in India & Nepal
- PASHUPATINATH TEMPLE
Pashupatinath is one of the greatest pilgrimages in the Hindu religion. This temple is on the banks of Bagmati River in Kathmandu. It is the biggest temple dedicated towards Lord Shiva. Thousands of devotees from Nepal and all over India come to visit the Pashupatinath Temple on the Shivaratri. Since it is the biggest temple dedicated to Lord Shiva the number of visitors rises during the time of Shivaratri. Sadhus or saints people who have given up hope to live up with begging and natural habitats are the most to visit the Pashupatinath temple at the time of Shivaratri. Sadhus are mostly clothed but some sadhus are naked wearing nothing but ashes all over their body. They are called Nango Baba meaning naked saint. They try to reflect the greatness of Lord Shiva who also lives in the cold mountains of Kailahparvats only half clothed.
Most of the saints spend all of their time around fire meditating and praying to Lord Shiva to end the cold winter and mark the arrival of Spring.Devotees chant “Om Namah Shivaya” and “Mahamritunjaya” all night praying for light over darkness. There are several legends that connect the origin of Pashupatinath to Lord Shiva. One of the stories is that Shiva and Parvati came to the Kathmandu Valley and rested by the Bagmati while on a journey. Shiva was so fearful of its attractiveness and the surrounding woods that he and Parvati changed themselves into deer and walked all around and into the forest. a lot of spots in the Kathmandu Valley have been recognized as places where Shiva went during his time as a deer. After a while, the public and gods began to search for Shiva.
|Pashupatinath Temple Nepal: Biggest Temple of the Lord Shiva in the World|
Finally, after various complications, they found him in the forest, but he refused to go away. More complications ensued, but ultimately Lord Shiva confessed that, since he had lived by the Bagmati river in a deer’s form, he would now be known as Pashupatinath, Lord of all animals. It is said that whoever came here and beheld the lingam that appeared there would not be reborn as an animal.This temple is an ancient monument to the country, Nepal. It is so famous and culturally rich that it is enlisted in the list of UNESCO World Heritage since the year of 1979 AD. The temple is dedicated to the Hindu Lord Shiva. It is a special worship in the destination to all those who love and dedicate their lives to Lord Shiva. It is a sacred Hindu temple.
⇒ 20 Best Places to Celebrate Shivaratri in India
⇒ 10 Best Places to Celebrate Shivaratri in Nepal
⇒ 20 places to visit on Shivaratri in India
⇒ 10 places to visit on Shivaratri in Nepal
⇒ How to celebrate Mahashivratri festival
⇒ Why do we celebrate Mahashivratri festival
Its architectural identity is the tiered style. Its main materials with which it is built are bricks, wood, and stone. Huge gatherings of people occur with lots of pujas during the auspicious occasion of the Maha Shivaratri. Its location lies in Kathmandu near a place called Gaushala. The place is surrounded by lots of trees. This location lies near the airport because of which tourists and foreign devotees find it very easy to reach the destination and pray to their deity Lord Shiva. Thus, Pashupatinath is one of the religiously blessed places especially for the Hindus and followers of Lord Shiva.Also, it is the reason why Pashupatinath is considered the Guardian and Protector of the Kathmandu Valley and Nepal and all the Hindu devotees.
UTTAR PRADESH VARANASI
Varanasi is one of the most religious and spiritual places of the whole world especially for the Hindu devotees this place is one of the most important places in the world. Varanasi has many important temples of Hindus including the one that is dedicated to Lord Shiva. So, it is undoubtful that Mahashivaratri is celebrated in a very excited and grand manner.
Mahashivaratri is also a day of the wedding between the mighty Lord Shiva and beautiful and powerful Goddess Parvati. On this day, the great wedding between these two holy divinities of Hindu religion took place. In the current north Indian societies, the Temples are decorated to take out a procession of flowers and devotees reflecting the Lord Shiva’s arrival at the wedding. It is called Shiva’s baraat or Shiva’s janti. This wedding baraat is also conducted in the Varanasi and many people get involved in this god’s procession portraying the roles of many different gods and goddesses. The preparation is done from many days before the procession. However, the committee of the religion of Varanasi chooses a person to portray Lord Shiva to reflect on the original God’s baraat. The procession starts from the southern side of the city and ends at Tilbhandeswar temple which takes almost 5 hours. The baraat even in modern family wedding comes with loud music and people dancing.
On this day Bhaang or marijuana is considered legal to consume as it is considered the Prasad of Lord Shiva so many people are seen getting high taking bhang during the procession.
MADHYA PRADESH KHAJURAHO AND UJJAIN
Mahashivaratri is celebrated with equal excitement and dedication in the state of Madhya Pradesh of India. There is a tradition where the pilgrims take a holy bath by dipping them in the water in this place. The crowd of people at the time of Maha Shivaratri is very high and they are highly dedicated to making their celebration passionate and grand. The devotees worship the great temple of Matangeshwar throughout the night remembering Lord Shiva and all his accomplishments, sacrifice and solutions he provided to safeguard the mankind. Mahashivaratri in Ujjain is dedicated towards the Mahabaleshwar temple. This temple also gets visited by millions of people every year at the time of Shivaratri. In both of these places, a similar fair is organized by the locals, where a variety of products of handicrafts and arts are sold. There are also circuses, playing things like merry go round and Ferris wheel, theatre in the fair.
It is the capital of Assam.It is another place in India where the biggest celebration of Mahashivaratri takes place with the high participation of devotees and people. Some of the temples in Guwahati that are resided by Lord Shiva are Basistha temple, Lankeshwar temple, Rudreswar temple, Sukreswar temple and Umananda temple. There is also another temple in the name of BhimeswarDwadasJyotrilingaDham. It is believed that Lord Shiva had been born again here to destroy an evil spirit called Bhimasura and defend his followers. Hence the name Bhimeswar is given to Lord Shiva.
It is another place that is worthy of a visit during the time of Shivaratri. It is a collection of small temples but one of the great temples is Shiva temple called Shivadol. Shiva is the name of god and sugar means ocean so this name is suitably given to the temple as it is located on the bank of the river. The Sivasagar tank, also known as the Borpukhuri tank, was built by constructing embankments and the water level thus created in the lake remains above the adjoining ground level.
Haridwar is also known as the land of yogis. It is one of the places where after the churning of the sea a giant pot of potion called Amrit which will immortalize a mortal being if the being drinks were taken and the pot accidentally spilled the potion by the heavenly bird Garuda. It is famous for baths for pilgrims to remove their sin and get enlightenment from gods. This place is also very crowded during Mahashivaratri as many pilgrims come to wash off their sins in this place.
Meanwhile, in Rishikesh, there is another famous temple of Lord Shiva in the name of NeelkanthMahadev Temple. According to the Purana, the gods and demons churned the mighty ocean to get the Amrit, a potion that will make the person who drinks immortal. A large serpent and a hill were used to churn the ocean. But on the contrary to the expectation of gods and demons, the ocean presented with a big pot of poison. The poison was so powerful that it could kill all the living being in the whole world. The Gods and demons ran for help to Lord Shiva. Realizing the severity of the situation Lord Shiva than drank all the poison from the pot. Since the poison was deadly enough to kill him if he swallowed; Lord Shiva held the poison in his throat instead of swallowing. Hence, Lord Shiva protected the world form the poison’s evil effect. The toxicity of the poison made his throat appeared to be blue. And Lord Shiva was given another name as ‘Neelkantha’. Neel means blue and kantha means throat. It is believed that it was in this place that the mighty bravery of Lord Shiva was seen. It was in this place where he drank the poison risked himself and saved mankind. Thus, commemorating his bravery Lord Shiva is worshipped and Shivaratri is celebrated very highly in this place with thousands of pilgrims coming to visit every year in the time of Shivaratri.
LOKNATH TEMPLE, ORISSA
The celebration of Shivaratri at Loknath Temple is called Puri. Legend has it that once Orissa was the center to worship Lord Shiva. Lord Ramchandra himself erected the Lingam in the Loknath temple and worshipped Lord Shiva there. Today the lingam is submerged in the water and it is only displayed on Pankodhar Ekadashi few days before Shivaratri. Many devotees come to visit this place to take a glance at the famous lingam and these pilgrims stay there till Shivaratri to worship Lord Shiva.