Mahashivratri celebrated with religious fervour

Devotees offering prayers before Shivlingam at Ranbireshwar temple on the occasion of Mahashivratri on Tuesday. —Excelsior/Rakesh
Devotees offering prayers before Shivlingam at Ranbireshwar temple on the occasion of Mahashivratri on Tuesday. —Excelsior/Rakesh

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Feb 13:  Mahashivratri was celebrated today with religious and traditional fervour amidst offering of prayers in Shiva temples across the State.
Huge rush of devotees of all age groups was witnessed in all the Shiv temples waiting for their turn to offer  holy water and fruits on  the Shivlingam.  People thronged to the temples since last midnight and    long queue of devotees were seen at Aap Shambhu temple in Roop Nagar, Ranbireshwar temple near Shalimar Chowk, Peer Kho on the banks of Tawi river and other Shiv temples and Shrines.   Click here to watch video
All the Shiv temples and shrines were fully decorated giving a festive look while some devotees and organizations had arranged food stalls for general public. At some places, Shiv-Barat was enacted.
Some of devotees observed ritualistic fast to please their beloved deity with their devotion. They woke up early in the morning and after taking bath went to the temple   with several offerings. They performed the ritualistic Shiva Abhishekam with milk, honey, ghee, curd, and sandalwood paste amidst chanting of ‘Om Namaha Shivay’.
They also offered fruits like Ber, Bel leaves and flowers to the Shivalingam.
At various places, religious processions were also taken out to mark the occasion of Mahashivratri. Large number of devotees took part in such procession wherein Gas Balloons with Shiv message were also released in the sky.
Kashmiri Pandits, living in Jammu, were abuzz with the festive mood on the occasion of Mahashivratri, which is considered to be most significant religious festival of the community and celebrated with much fervour and enthusiasm.
In maximum Kashmiri Pandit homes, family members woke all night and chanted prayers and songs in honour of Lord Shiva. A festive look was visible in the KP migrant colonies, where the administration had made special arrangements on the occasion of Shivratri.
Besides various socio-religious groups, the District administration had made elaborate arrangements to facilitate the devotees visiting the temples. Keeping in view of the security situation, particularly in the wake of terror attack on Sunjwan Army camp and purported attempt to target another Army camp at Domana, elaborate security arrangements were also made around all the religious places, particularly famous Shiv temples here.
Reports from Shiv Khori at Ransoo in Reasi district said that thousands of devotees visited the cave shrine on the occasion of Mahashivratri.  Langer Prasad was served to the devotees, who came from different parts of the State as well as the country.
Mahashivratri was also celebrated in other parts of the State, where the auspicious occasion, which is celebrated to mark mythological marriage of Lord Shiva with Goddess Parvati, witnessed prayers in temples with devotees offering water on Shivlingam, taking out religious processions and organizing of Langars etc.