Mahashivaratri, a Hindu festival dedicated to lord Shiva, was celebrated across the country on February 20, Monday by observing fast and performing pooja in honour of the destroyer at different Shiva temples.
Pashupati Area Development Trust made all the necessary preparations to welcome devotees in the holy site of Pashupatinath Temple, from all over the country and abroad. Around 6,900 security personnel were deployed to prevent any untoward incidents during the festival.
PADT, together with police and District Administration Office, also banned the sale and consumption of liquor in and around the sacred site. Police had kept tight vigil on people selling and puffing cannabis other than sadhus and sages. PADT mobilised 10,000 volunteers to guide the devotees.
Likewise, the Shivaratri was marked in Halesi Mahadevsthan, also regarded as the Pashupatinath of the east, where thousands of devotees have thronged to worship in the temple.
Temple Management Committee said that the number of devotees have doubled against the previous year. Chairman of the Committee, Gajurman Rai, said tourists from as far away as Sikkim and Bihar of India, Pakistan, China, and Hong Kong have also arrived here to worship in Halesi shrine.
Apart from visiting Shiva temples, one of the popular trends during the festival is people gathering to warm themselves by a bon fire.
The festival marks the night when Lord Shiva performed the Tandav- the dance of creation, preservation and destruction and his marriage to goddess Parvati.