Mahashivratri fairs are common in various parts of India. Some of the important fairs have been elaborated here.
Mahashivratri Fair at Kalahasti Temple
Grand festivities are observed at Sri Kalahasti temple in Andhra Pradesh on the occasion of Mahashivratri. Shri Kalahasti is one of the popular pilgrimages for Shiva devotees in Andhra Pradesh. This sacred place is situated between two steep hills, called Sripuram and Mummidicholapuram and it is generally believed that the place was the part of Seshasaila or Mount Meru, in the ancient days.
Shri kalahasti temple is also referred as Dakshina Kailasam. Shri Kalahasti temple of Andhra Pradesh is also popular for the puja of sarp yoga. Large numbers of pilgrims throng to this religious centre on the pious occasion of Shivratri in the Tamil month of Maasi. This period is marked by many festivities in Andhra Pradesh and especially the fifth day of the month coincides with Mahashivratri, huge religious amalgamationims offer their prayer to lord Shiva for seeking blessings in order to attain salvation. Special puja is performed on the day of Shivratri accompanied by abhishek of Lord Shiva’s idol.
Mahashivratri Fair at Mandi
Mandi, a famous district of Himachal Pradesh is known for its Shivratri celebrations. Maha Shivratri fair is organized every year and goes on for seven days. According to the locals, all the Gods and Goddesses are invited to the fair and the deities take part. There is a legend associated to these celebrations, which revolves around the Bhootnath temple in Mandi. According to the mythology, there was a king named Ajber Sen, who heard a story about a cow offering milk to a stone in the forest. Soon, the king saw Lord Shiva in his dreams and he told him about the Shiva Linga in the jungle. The king followed his dream and found the Shiva Linga and he then built a temple around it, which is now known as Bhootnath temple. Ever since, the festival is celebrated in Mandi with utmost joy.
Mahashivratri Fair at Shiv Khori
A three-day fair is organized during Maha Shivratri in the hills of Shiv Khori in Jammu and Kashmir. People from across the country come all the way to the place to visit this cave shrine. It is generally organized in the month of February or in the first week of March around the festival of Maha Shivratri. The place gets all crowded with several devotees making their way to this sacred place. It is a well-organized event where the government has taken all the necessary steps for providing facilities to the visitors. The Shrine Board has constructed guesthouses, pony shed and reception centers. The paths have are decorated with medicinal and ornamental plants. Those who are looking forward to do something special and different this Shivratri can visit the shrine and enjoy the festival spirit amidst a crowd of devotees.