Ujjain: Contrary to the claims of the administration that more than 2 lakh people are expected to visit the city on account of Mahashivratri festival, hardly 25, 000 people turned up for the ‘darshan’ of Lord Mahakal on Tuesday. With Mahashivratri falling on February 14, (Wednesday) and an official holiday being announced, people thronged in comparatively less numbers this year at the Mahakal city. Moreover, lack of flexibility on the part of the administration also forced devotees to return from the temple and despite deserted look of barricaded pathways they were compelled to walk two to three km to line-up for darshan of the Mahakal Jyotirlingam.
However, on the holy festival of Mahashivaratri, thousands of devotees visited Mahakaleshwar temple on Tuesday. The doors of the temple opened at 2 am on Tuesday for ‘bhasm aarti’ and remained open even after that for the devotees. The doors will close on Wednesday night after the ‘shayan arti’. Thus, the temple will remain open for nearly 44 hours at a stretch. On Tuesday night, a ‘mahapooja’ of the Lord Mahakal was done in which juice of 7 fruits, ‘panchamrit’ and 1.25 lakh ‘bilvapatra’ were offered to the Jyotirlingam.
Lord Mahakal adorned a special mask of ‘saptdhaan’ and a flower crown for Mahashivaratri. Government worship was also done in the sanctum sanctorum of Mahakaleshwar temple. Divisional commissioner MB Ojha, ADGP V Madhukumar, collector Sanket Bhondve, Mahakaleshwar Temple Management Committee administrator Awadhesh Sharma and other officers were present. The festival of Mahashivratri will conclude after the ‘Brahmin bhoj’.
The crowd fell short of the expectations of the police and administration. This happened because the whole country will celebrate Shivratri on Wednesday. The Government too has declared a holiday on Wednesday but despite this fact, the authorities concerned made no effort to declare a local holiday on Tuesday. Therefore, not only all the educational institutions, but most government offices, banks etc also witnessed routine working. According to MTMC, only 907 people took the Rs 250 ticket pass on Tuesday. The administration now expects a huge flow of people on Wednesday, but as per local tradition the Mahashivratri festival will be over on Wednesday afternoon itself, after bhasmaarti.