Hundreds of people from across Karnataka and neighbouring States thronged the Virupaksha temple at Hampi to have a ‘darshan' of the specially decorated deity and also witness the special pujas performed there on Monday as part of Mahashivaratri celebrations.
After taking a dip in Tungabhadra river, the people formed a beeline, undeterred by the scorching sun, to witness the pujas, including Rudrabhisheka, which were performed by Vidyaranya Bharati Swami of the Vidyaranya Peetha.
The special attraction of the celebrations at Hampi was the gold mask on Shiva. The mask, which was studded with diamond and various precious stones, was put on the Shivalinga, which is worshipped as Lord Virupakasha in the temple.
Mahashivaratri is one of the four occasions in a year when the Shivalinga is decorated with the gold mask and special pujas are performed. The mask is believed to have been donated by Sri Krishnadevaraya of the Vijayanagar empire to commemorate his coronation in 1509. The mask weighs nearly 3 kg. Mahashivaratri was also celebrated with religious fervour and traditional gaiety at various Shiva temples across the district. Anointing the sitting deities with milk, ghee and other items marked the occasion.
A large number of people took part in the bhajans at various temples.
Night-long music concerts were held at the Vishnuvardhan park in Bellary, Abhayanjaneya and Amrutheshwara temples in Siruguppa and Tekkalakota, respectively.
Chitradurga Staff Correspondent reports:
Prayers, bhajans and religious gaiety marked Mahashivaratri celebrations on Monday across the district.
Hundreds of people visited Shiva temples, including the Neelakantheshwara temple, and offered prayers. “Prasad” was distributed among the people at most of the temples, which were decorated with flowers. When contacted, some people said they were on fast till evening to mark the festival.
Special pujas, including Rudrabhishekha, were performed in the temples. As per the tradition, some people keep awake and sing devotional songs in praise of Lord Shiva.
Gold mask donated by Sri Krishnadevaraya in 1509 was put on the Shivalinga Night-long music concerts held at Vishnuvardhan Park in Bellary
Gold mask donated by Sri Krishnadevaraya in 1509 was put on the Shivalinga
Night-long music concerts held at Vishnuvardhan Park in Bellary