Nagpur: BJP recorded a murderous majority in Nagpur Municipal Corporation and now its time to celebrate Maha Shivratri on Friday. Temples in the city and surrounding areas are all set to receive lakhs of devotees on Shivratri. In the city, innumerable Shiv temples are gearing up for daylong queues that stretch late into the night as Shiv worship becomes intense during the five prahars of Shivratri. “The rituals ideally begin after sunset and go on the entire night, when the devout offer abhishek with milk, water and honey,” says astrologer Prabodh Vekhende.
The BJP workers have planned special pooja in various temples to thanks the deity for the big success.
Shivratri has a special significance for the city and the areas surrounding it as there were a large number of Nag temples here. “This region after Narmada has been designated as one of Shiva due to the presence of Naga clan here. Shiva himself is said to belong to that clan,” says Vekhende.
Explaining the religious significance of the day, Vekhende adds, “If you go by the zodiac signs, the month of Magh is considered to be the worst for mankind as during this period a lot of upheaval and devastations can take place. The reason for this is the presence of sun and moon in the Kumbh rashi. Prayers are offered to appease Shiva as he alone can protect a person from getting destabilized or uprooted.”
Attributing this aspect to the number of yatras that take place during this festival, Vekhende says, “It is the less privileged who usually undertake these yatras in huge groups to Pachmarhi or Chauragarh.” Carrying heavy tridents or pots filled with water collected from holy rivers, they walk the distance on foot as it is believed that those who undertake this arduous walk on Shivratri will not have to suffer for the rest of the year. “Offering a weapon to god is also considered auspicious,” says Ramesh Kowade, a fourth generation ironsmith in Itwari, who manufactures and sells tridents by the hundreds during this period.
In the city, the Shiv Kalyaneshwar Mandir at Mahal and Telangkhedi, Sonegaon Goenka Shiv Mandir, and Bonda Mahadev temple at Tekdi Road see huge crowds. Many throng the temple in Mahal as it has both an idol of Shiv and also the linga. “I get a feeling of inner calm and peace when I visit this temple,” says Laxman Tambe, who has been coming here for the past 50 years.