Mumbaikars Gearing up for Mahashivratri: Devotees, temples prepare for overnight vigil

Mumbaikars Gearing up for Mahashivratri: Devotees, temples prepare for overnight vigil

The Babulnath Temple in Girgaon Chowpatty – one of the most prominent temples of Lord Shiva – will be open to devotees from midnight (12am) on February 18 and will close at 11pm.

Ashutosh M ShuklaUpdated: Friday, February 17, 2023, 12:41 AM IST
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Mumbaikars Gearing up for Mahashivratri: Devotees, temples prepare for overnight vigil | File

Mumbai: As Mahashivratri approaches, Goregaon resident Manoj Rajput makes it a point to buy ash, sandalwood, bel patra (trifoliate leaves) and datura (thorn apple), besides stocking up on milk, water, honey, curd and other items that are essentials, with a symbolic meaning for Mahashivratri Puja that will be held on Saturday.

“Shivratri comes every month but Mahashivratri comes only once a year. It is the day Lord Shiva gets married to Parvati Mata. It is celebrated by fasting, praying, visits to temples, and the worship (abhishek) of Lord Shiva, with people reciting bhajans through the night. To calm the Lord's anger, water is offered to the Shivling, besides other things,” Hindu priest, Acharya Sanjay Pandey, said. The day is also auspicious to fulfil wishes and overcome problems (dosh). Single women fast on this day for a good husband.

“I first do puja at home where we put water on the Shivling and then go to the temple in our locality,” said Rajput. Prominent temples make it a point to have grand celebrations on this day.

Girgaon Chowpatty temple gearing up for Feb 18

The Babulnath Temple in Girgaon Chowpatty – one of the most prominent temples of Lord Shiva – will be open to devotees from midnight (12am) on February 18 and will close at 11pm. “We expect around 1.25 lakh devotees to come for darshan. People are allowed only to do 'jalabhishek' (offer water) provided by the temple, only till 2pm. Other liquid offerings like milk, honey, curd and ghee are not allowed. All dry offerings like bel patra and datura can be made,” said Mukesh Kanojia, manager of the trust that looks after the temple.

Devotees visiting the temple will get to see two golden doors and a window in the main sanctum sanctorum premises that the temple has put up through donations. “The silver ones had got damaged over time and we had to change them. These have just been installed last week. It is gold leafing or what is called varak,” said Kanojia. The doors have carvings of 10 things associated with Lord Shiva – including Goddess Ganga, a trident (trishul), a crescent moon, a snake, a drum and tiger skin – besides other minute work and detailing.

On Thursday, the temple premises had a rangoli made of flowers and fruits on display, which has been done earlier as well. There are pictures of these put up on the walls of the temple premises, next to details of all that Lord Shiva embodies and epitomises.

Mahashivratri at Babulnath temple

First aarti 5-6 am

Noon aarti 12-1.30 pm

Night aarti 8-8.30 pm

-Around 300 police personnel, 100 security guards to be deployed

-25 additional CCTV cameras to augment current 30-camera setup for security

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