Why we celebrate Mahashivratri | Mandi Shivratri | Chhotikashi


Mahashivratri,  which implies "the great night of Lord Shiva". It is said that Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati were married on the day of Shivratri.

 It is a Hindu festival celebrated extensively in India and Nepal. In Hindu culture, the day of worship of Lord Shiva is celebrated with full fervor.

What is the significance of Mahashivratri.?

The festival of Mahashivratri begins a day before. On the day of Shivratri, Puja and Kirtan are done all night.

Not only this, Shivaratri will be mentioned inside many Puranas, such as Shivaratri has been mentioned in Skanda Purana, Linga Purana, and Padma Puranas.

According to a legend, this is the night when Lord Shiva performed the heavenly dance of protection and destruction.

However, it is also written in some texts that Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati were married on this day.

Importance of Shiva worship-

Before worshiping Lord Shiva, one should anoint Shivalinga with bilvapatra, honey, milk, curd, sugar and Ganga water.

 By doing this, all the desires of the man are fulfilled and the problem is overcome.


Why we do Shivratri fast.?

'Maha-shivaratri' is the great festival of union of Lord Shiva and Mother Parvati. According to the Hindu calendar, this festival celebrated in the month of Phalgun is a great training in Hinduism.

 It is said that the devotees and seekers who worship Lord Shiva by bathing the Ganges get the desired fruits, wealth, good fortune and prosperity.

This mahaparva, celebrated by the Hindus with complete sadhana, is celebrated for the marriage of Lord Shiva.

 The most important part of the Maha-shivratri fast is its fast. On this day, a gathering of devotees of Lord Shiva takes place in the Shiva temple where all the devotees worship the Shivalinga rituals and awaken the aarti of Shiva in the night.

 It is mandatory for devotees to offer belpatr, fasting, and night awakening in Shiv-linga Puja. 

On the same day, the procession of Lord Shiva is taken out by the devotees at night, it is believed that on this day, Shiva and mother Shakti were married.

On this day, you can consume only one-time meal ie fruit. Many devotees keep fast on this day. Devotees who do night awakening on Maha-Shivaratri should chant mantra, worship Shiva Aarti or Shiva.

Now let's talk about the Shivratri festival in District Mandi, Himachal Pradesh

Mandi Shivratri (chhotikashi)

: Madhorai's jaleb is the main attraction.

The festival of Shivaratri celebrated in chhotikashi (Mandi), the cultural capital of Himachal Pradesh, is a festival full of emotions associated with the surrounding towns.

 In the festival starting from the Chaturdashi of Krishna Paksha of Phalgun month, more than 200 Gods and Goddesses come from far and wide.

The major attraction of Mahashivaratri is the procession which is called during the fairs which is called Jaleb of Madhorai.

On the last day of Mahashivaratri,  In the fair, Dev Kamrunag comes to meet all the gods,

There are many beliefs about the commencement of this fair.

According to a belief, in 1788, the princely state of Mandi was in the hands of King Ishwari Sen. Ishwariya Sen, the then king of Mandi princely state, was imprisoned by Maharaja Sansar Chand of Kangra. A few days before Shivratri, he returned home after being freed from long captivity.

 In this joy, the villagers also went to Mandi Nagar to fill the presence of the king to their gods. The king and the people together celebrated this celebration as a fair. 
The festival of Mahashivaratri was also on these days and the tradition of fair started every time on Shivaratri.

The celebration organized on this occasion of liberation took the form of Mandi Shivaratri Festival.

                                                                            Madhorai Jaleb

The king's successor Madhorai.

It is believed that King Suraj Sen had 18 sons. They all died in the life of the king. As the successor, the king built a silver statue named Madhorai.

The king gave his kingdom to Madhorai. After this, Madhorai started leading the procession at Shivaratri.

All the gods of the state came to Shivaratri and started to present Madhorai and then to the king. Among the later rulers, King Shyam Sen was the worshiper of Shakti, who reinforced the Shiva Shakti tradition.

Old 81 temples of Shiva and Shakti in Mandi (Chhoti Kashi) Himachal 

The month of Phalgun is the beginning of spring after the snow melts. At this time, the stream of clear water of snowy hills in the Beas river starts flowing in the ghats of the mandi, the trees of Falgun start welcoming the flowers of the plants and Deulu starts decorating the chariots of their deity in color, then Bhootnath of the city.

 The townspeople start celebrating the auspicious wedding night of Shiva-Parvati in the temple as a fair. People wait for the spring season after staying indoors for months due to snowfall and cold, and as soon as the festival of Shivaratri arrives in the spring, they begin to decorate and march towards the mandi.

Triloknath  Temple
                                                                      Trilokinath  Temple

While he likes to meet his loved ones, he also enjoys the fair for seven days. The old 81 temples in Mandi are of Shiva and Shakti, including Baba Bhootnath and Ardhanarishwar.

 While all the temples of Lord Shiva are present in the Shikhara style, the temples of Shakti are in the Mandapa style.

There are 11 Rudra forms of Lord Shiva in Mandi while there are nine powers including Shyamakali, Bhuvaneshwari, Chintapurni, Durga, Bhadrakali in Kali, Siddhakali, Mahakali.

Fairs start with Mahashivratri in Chhoti Kashi (Mandi) Himachal.

Whatever may be the history of celebrating Shivaratri as a festival in Mandi, but there is no exaggeration that while people wait for Shivaratri to start the fairs in the state,

 the gods are not far behind. The palanquins of rural deities are decorated in the circles of Mandi district in the central part of the state.

jaleb, Mandi
                                                                       Jaleb, Mandi

People start preparing for going to the Shivratri fair of Mandi a month in advance, and with this, as soon as the method of worship of Lord Shankar, the tapasthali of Mandavya Rishi begins to meet each other from all over the year. The union of the gods makes Deva Sangam feel.

Chariots of hundreds of gods and goddesses and the chanting of the servants accompanying them, this festival of Mandi, which has been buzzing for eight days with the echoing sounds of drums, drums, Karnals, and Ranasinghas, is unprecedented and exciting.

 The palace of Mandi's main king, Dev Madho, with the palanquin, embracing the palanquins of the gods and goddesses, dancing, swinging, wooing, celebrating the gods, seems like a new world.

 In the fair, where people get an idea of ​​the culture and dev recognition here, tourists also get to know about the food here.

 During the fair, while on the one hand the deities are busy meeting in the historic Paddal Ground, on the other side of the paddal grounds, there is trade at the shops which are commercially located. 

The night festival is also organized by the administration along with exhibitions to entertain people and tourists from far off places.

The symbol of Dev Kamarunag also reaches Mandi just a day before the fair and sits in the circumambulation of the Maa Tarna temple. 

Along with this, many regional fairs that run one after the other in Mandi are also started.

Now we will tell you about the Mahashivaratri festival in Baijnath temple Kangra Himachal Pradesh

Baijnath Shiva temple
                                                                Baijnath Shiva temple

Baijnath Shiva temple is full of faith for the state level Shivaratri festival. Around 20 thousand devotees have bowed in the temple from 3 am to 12 noon.

Explain that this figure will reach millions in the late night.

This Shiva temple has historical and mythological significance. It is believed that this is the same Shiva lingam which was taken to Lanka as a boon by Lord Ravana after doing penance to Lord Shiva, but this lingam was established here due to a condition not being fulfilled.

The existing Shiva temple at Vaijnath is believed to be of the ninth century. The shikharakara style temple is an example of fine art A special thing about Baijnath is that neither Dussehra is celebrated here nor there is any jewelery seller's shop in Baijnath market.

 A five-day state level fair is held here on Shivratri. During this Shobha Yatra and Havan Yagya is also organized in the temple. 

Temple trustee Anil Sharma said that special arrangements have been made in the temple for the convenience of devotee.

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