Maha Shivratri Melas begin at Shiv Khori, Peer Kho
JAMMU, Feb 28: On the eve of Mahashivratri, a grand ‘Shiv Barat’ procession was taken out in Jammu city with religious fervor, here today.
Amidst drum beats and chanting of religious slogans in praise of Lord Shiva, the procession passed through main bazaars of the Old City before its culmination at the Ranbireshwar Mandir near Shalamar Chowk from where it had started.
Displaying mythical scenes of `Shiv Barat’, artists attired as Lord Shiva, Parvati and their Baratis were main attraction of the traditional procession on the eve of Mahashivratri.
Children and youngsters were attired in various forms of Lord Shiva and his followers in the Shiv Barat while religious preachers, Sadhus and prominent citizens were also part of the procession, which was flagged off by Ajatshatru Singh, Trustee J&K Dharmarth Trust, along with his wife Ritu Singh.
People enroute greeted the procession by showering flowers on the chariot of Lord Shiva. The welcome gates were erected by bazaar associations at various places to greet the Barat. Various traders, religious organizations of old city had organized Bhandaras at various places for the devotees.
The administration had also made elaborate arrangements for smooth conduct of the religious procession besides ensuring adequate deployment of police force en route to avoid any untoward incident.
The procession, led by chariot of Lord Shiva and followed by various tableaus of religious and social organizations, passed through City Chowk, Indira Chowk, Hari Market, Raghunath Bazar Chowk, Residency Road, Shahidi Chowk, Rajinder Bazar, Kanak Mandi, Old Hospital Road, Purani Mandi, Link Road, Jain Bazar, Chowk Chabutra, Mubarak Mandi, Panjtirthi, Pacca Danga and Parade Chowk before culmination at Ranbireshwar Temple.
Earlier, Ajatshatru Singh and his wife performed Puja and other rituals at the Ranbireshwar Mandir. The religious procession was organized by Onkar Sharma (Nandi Ji), President of Shri Ranbireshwar Mandir Welfare Committee (SRMWC) in collaboration with Dharmarth Trust.
Meanwhile, Directorate of Tourism, Jammu organized Maha Shivratri Mela at Shiv Khori, Reasi and Peer Kho Jammu.
The four day Mela at Shivkhori, Ransoo is being organised in collaboration with District Administration, Reasi and Shree Shiv Khori Shrine Board. The inauguration of this mela was done jointly by Saraf Singh Nag, DDC Chairman, Mohd. Suleman Choudhary, DIG, Babila Rakwal, Deputy Commissioner, Reasi (Vice Chairperson Shiv Khori Shrine Board) in presence of Raghav Langer, Divisional Commissioner, Jammu and Vivekanand Rai, Director Tourism, Jammu.
The four day programs at both the places shall include cultural performances including devotional songs/dances, dangal etc. The Divisional Commissioner, hoped that the festival will usher the UT of Jammu & Kashmir in the era of peace and prosperity. He also took round of the Stalls which were put in place by different departments at the venue.
Natasha Kalsotra, Joint Director Tourism, Jammu, Naresh Kumar, Deputy Director Tourism, Jammu, Rahul Mahajan, Accounts Officer, besides prominent citizen from all works of life and senior officers of different departments were present on the occasion. A special audio campaign is also being run on all prominent F.M. Channels by the Tourism Department.
Also, temple complexes at Utterbehni and Purmandal were illuminated on the occasion to give the shrine a festive look.