Devotees across the nation throng Shiva temples to offer prayers on Maha Shivratri
New Delhi, Feb 21: Lakhs of devotees celebrated Mahashivratri across the nation on Friday. This is the festival which is celebrated in honour of Lord Shiva. Since wee hours, the devotees were found in a long queue in front of famous temples to have holy darshan to Lord Shiva on the special day.
The rituals at temples began with 'Mahanyasa Puja', 'Rudrabhisheka', 'Ashtothara', 'Homa', 'Lingapuje', 'Mahakailasa Shikara Deepa- radane', and 'Rashi Puja.'
Devotees visited Shree Mahakaleshwar Temple in Ujjain, Kashi Vishwanath Temple in Varanasi and 'Shivala Bagh Bhaiyan' temple in Amritsar to offer prayers.
Maha Shivratri, which literally translates to 'the greatest night of Shiva' is one of the most splendidly celebrated festivals across the country. It celebrates the grand marriage of the lord of destruction, Shiva -- with the goddess of fertility, love, and beauty -- Parvati, who is also known as Shakti (power).
According to Hindu mythology, on the night of the marriage, Lord Shiva had a very diverse group of acquaintances including Hindu gods, goddesses, animals, and demons escorting him to the house of the goddess.
The duo of Shiv and Shakti is considered to be the epitome of love, power, and togetherness. The festival marking the initiation of their bond - 'Maha Shivratri' - is celebrated with great fervour across India.