With festivals in India come the holidays which sometimes stretch out into the long weekend. This time, we have Mahashivratri coming on the 7th of March, a Monday, which you can easily and conveniently make into a long weekend and plan a quick vacation! Mahashivratri, which literally means the “Great Night of Shiva” is a festival that is celebrated annually to honour the Hindu God Shiva. This is the day that Shiva was believed to have married Parvati, thus signifying the joining of Shiva and Shakti. Also called Shivratri, this exuberant festival is celebrated with fasting and all-night jagarans. If you are fascinated by this fest and want to take in the festivities, then plan a trip to one of the major Indian destinations that celebrate Shivratri with gusto. Check out Travelguru’s Mahashivratri hotel deals for some amazing discounts! Let’s take a look at the top 5 places to celebrate Mahashivratri in India
Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh
Mahashivratri is celebrated with quite a lot of fanfare in Varanasi. Known as the spiritual capital of India, Varanasi is home to the Kashi Vishwanath Temple, which is one of the most important Shiva temples in the country. Shiva devotees from across the country and the world come to visit this temple and perform rituals.
Haridwar and Rishikesh, Uttarakhand
Haridwar and Rishikesh in Uttarakhand are two destinations that see Mahashivratri celebrated with great pomp and show. Lots of people flock to Haridwar to take a dip in the famous Har ki Pauri to absolve themselves of their sins.
Mandi, Himachal Pradesh
Mandi in Himachal Pradesh is home to the Bhutnath Temple, another site where Shivratri is celebrated grandly. A week-long International Mandi Shivratri Fair also takes place here, which is quite a sight. Tourists from across the world head out to Mandi to take in these glorious Shivratri festivities.
People traditionally take a dip in the Sagar Tank at Khajuraho during Shivratri. Hordes of Shiva devotees make their way to the Matangeshwar Temple and the celebrations go on all night. The festival can be quite fun with the 10-day fair that takes place in the Matangeshwar Temple vicinity, complete with magic shows, peddlers, gypsies, circus shows and much more.
Srikalahasti and Srisailam, Andhra Pradesh
Andhra Pradesh is home to several grand Shiva temples and these temples are where the devotees head out to during Mahashivratri. You will find the celebrations in full swing especially in the Sri Kalahasteshwara Temple at Srikalahasti and Bharamarambha Malikarjunaswamy Temple at Srisailam. Fasts are kept, and prayers and mantras are chanted throughout the day honouring Lord Shiva.
Mahashivratri is a great cultural fest that is celebrated by thousands of devotees around the world. A trip to one of the aforementioned destinations will prove quite exciting and fruitful! Travelguru has some wonderful Mahashivratri hotel deals that will help you save big on travel and also ensure a pleasant stay! Which other places would you add to this list of the top 5 places to celebrate Mahashivratri in India?