Nepal | May 26, 2020

Stage all set for Mahashivaratri festival

Himalayan News Service
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Kathmandu, March 5

Preparations for the annual mega religious event of Mahashivaratri to be observed on Monday is under way on war footing on the Pashupatinath temple premises.

Mahashivaratri is a major Hindu festival dedicated to Lord Shiva. The festival is observed across the country by worshiping Shiva and visiting temples.

Govinda Tandon, member secretary at the Pashupati Area Development Trust, said they were expecting around 1.1 million devotees, which would be one lakh more compared to last year, at the temple on the day.  He informed that all preparations to welcome the devotees from Nepal and abroad would be completed by tomorrow. The temple area has been decorated with flickering lamps.

The PADT has formed a 351-member main festival committee to make arrangements for the festival. Eleven other subcommittees will oversee other aspects like managing the lines of devotees, sanitation, security, publicity and health camps, among others.

The annual festival is celebrated with great religious fervour in reverence of Lord Shiva, one of the Hindu gods forming the trinity — Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwor (Shiva). It falls on the 14th night of the new moon in the month of Falgun (February-March). Devotees fast and worship Shiva Lingam in order to appease Lord Shiva on the occasion.

According to Hindu scriptures, Mahashivaratri signifies the transition from the darkness of gloom and ignorance to the dawn of divine joy and knowledge. Last year, PADT received complaints that it failed to handle the sea of humanity, who were forced to stand up for three-four hours in lines.

“The lines of devotees will be properly managed so that everyone can worship Lord Shiva within minutes,” Tandon said. The officials also pledged to work on the shortcomings of the previous years for better management of the festival this year. This year too, the PADT will charge Rs 1,000 as entry fee for devotees, who wish to skip long queues. More than 5,000 security personnel from Nepal Police and Armed Police Force will be deployed to prevent any untoward incident during the festival.

A version of this article appears in print on March 06, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.

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