Lord Shiva also known as Neelkanth, Kalyankari, Rudra, Bholenath, Bhole Baba, Shiv Shankar, Cannabis God, and by many other countless names has devotees in every nook and corner of the globe. Maha Shivratri is one such festival that is celebrated by the Hindus in great reverence to Lord Shiva. It is a day to commemorate the marriage of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. Apart from being a major festival for Shiva worshippers, it is also one of the prominent Hindu festivals. As per the Hindu calendar, it is celebrated every year on the 13th night or 14th day of the Maagha month which falls in February. This year it will be celebrated on February 21, 2020. This festival is celebrated with great devotion across India. If you want to know the handful of places which exhibits a grand affair of Mahshivratri then go on and read the blog.
Abode of Lord Shiva: Varanasi
One of the oldest cities in the world, Varanasi houses one of the most important Shiva temples in the country (Kashi Vishwanath). On this day, people from all over the country come to the spiritual capital of India and perform rituals. Some people also observe this day by fasting all day long. Wedding procession of Lord Shiva also takes place in which people play roles of different gods. The procession includes music, dance and consuming Bhang. Bhang is a legal form of marijuana which is widely consumed in Varanasi with a belief that it is a blessing of Lord Shiva.
How to reach
Lal Bahadur Shastri Airport in Varanasi is well-connected to some of the major cities of India like Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata. If you want to travel by train, Varanasi (BSB) railway station is well linked to major cities of India. Here is a list of trains between New Delhi and Varanasi.
Door to god: Haridwar
With a countless number of temples and ghats, Haridwar is a perfect place to go for Mahashivratri celebrations. Take a bath in the ghats of the holy river Ganga and get rid of all your misdeeds. Devotees and pilgrims flock to Hardiwar in huge numbers to take a dip in the Har Ki Pauri. For the Mahashivratri celebration, Ganga aarti on the banks of holy river Ganga is something you must not miss. One can also take a walk on the Lakshman Jhula, enjoy food at nearby cafes and indulge in river rafting at Rishikesh.
How to reach
The nearest domestic airport is Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun which is located 35 km away from Haridwar. From there you can hire a cab that will take you directly to Haridwar. For train travellers, Haridwar (HW) railway station located in Haridwar which comes under the Northern Railway zone is closest to Haridwar. Here is a list of trains that run between New Delhi to Haridwar.
Heaven on Earth: Mandi
One of the biggest Mahashivratri celebrations takes place in Bhootnath temple in Mandi, Himachal Pradesh. A week-long International Shivratri Fair also takes place here annually which attracts tourists from across the nation. Every year, a Shobha Yatra led by the Governor of the state is a striking feature of the Shivratri Festival. While visiting heaven on earth, do not forget to visit Pandoh Dam and Parashar Lake trek.
How to reach
The closest airport is Bhuntar airport at Kullu which is located at a distance of 60 km from Mandi. Cities like Delhi, Chandigarh, Shimla, Dharamsala and Pathankot are well connected to Kullu by air. After that, hire a taxi or cab that can take you to Mandi. For train enthusiasts, Joginder Nagar (JDNX) is the nearest railway station that is 50 km from Mandi. Here is a list of trains between Pathankot to Joginder Nagar. You can take a taxi from the station to reach Mandi directly.
Gateway to North-East: Guwahati
Umananda Temple in Assam is widely known for Shivratri celebrations. The temple lies on Peacock Island in the middle of the Brahmaputra river in the capital city of Assam, Guwahati. On this day, Worshippers of lord shiva from all over the country visit the temple. In addition to this, another place which is popular for Mahashivaratri celebrations in Assam is Sibsagar. Don’t forget to visit Kamakhya Temple and Assam State Museum.
How to reach
Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport, also known as Guwahati International Airport is one of the major airports in North East India which is 25 km away from the main city. From the airport, you can take a cab directly to take you to all the places in Assam. The nearest railway station is Guwahati (GHY) railway station, which is just 5 km away from the city centre. Here is a list of trains between New Delhi to Guwahati.
UNESCO world heritage site: Khajuraho
In Madhya Pradesh, Mahashivratri is celebrated by people with religious fervour. On Shivratri, people take a dip in the Sagar tank at Khajuraho. Since the number of Shaivites are largely concentrated in this region, Bundelkhand hosts one of the biggest Shivaratri celebrations. Here the Shivaratri celebration is a 10-day-long fair at the Matangeshwar Temple. Traders and peddlers from all the states in India actively participate in the fare and display their traditional products, circus, handicrafts, folk theatres etc.
How to reach
Khajuraho Airport is the nearest airport. One can easily get a taxi to roam in and around Khajuraho. The nearest railway station is Mahoba (MBA) railway station which is 63 km away from Khajuraho. Here is a list of trains between New Delhi to Mahoba.
So, celebrate this Mahashivratri in a special way by travelling to any of these places. Trainman wishes you all a very Happy Mahashivratri!! Book your tickets now through Trainman app. Download Trainman App to check PNR Status of your ticket, Train Running Status, Seat Availability and many such features.