Mahashivratri: Religious fervour grips devotees in Jamshedpur

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Elaborate arrangements to prevent man-animal conflict at Dalma

Jamshedpur, Feb 18:  Mahashivratri has gripped the devotees with religious fervour, with people observing fast and offering prayers at different temples of Lord Shiva.

The chants of ‘Om Namah Shivay’ have started reverberating in the city. Thousands of devotees will throng various Shiv temples and offer ‘bel patra’ and milk to the deity on February 21.

Also known as Shivaratri, the festival celebrates the convergence of Shiva and Shakti on the Krishna Paksha Chaturdashi of Hindu calendar month Maagha. Women observe fast and offer prayers both to Lord Shiva and Parvati to seek a blissful married life.

Among the many legends associated with Maha Shivratri are marriage of Shiva and Shakti and Ganga’s descent from the heavens to the earth. Maha Shivratri also marks the night when Lord Shiva performed the ‘Tandava” dance.

Devotees offer Bael or golden apple to Lord Shiva and chant the sacred Panchakshara mantra dedicated to Lord Om Namah Shivaya on this day, which is celebrated across India.

According to the Hindu Mythology, Maha Shivratri is associated with the marriage of Shiva and Parvati and is observed on the 13th night /14th day of the Hindu month of Phalguna or Maagh every year.

In temples, offerings of Bael leaves to Shiva are made along with observing all-day fasting and night-vigil with chants of “Om Namah Shivaya”. Some devotees perform special rituals and penances to gain boons by the practice of Yoga and meditation to attain moksha or salvation.

Dalma Wildlife Sanctuary has decided to make elaborate safety arrangements this Shivratri. The 8 km route from Fadlugora to the Shiv temple on top the hills, will be lighted up. The devotees started marching towards the temple from Thursday night.

All visitors will be frisked at both Fadlugora and Makulakocha. The devotees will have to pass through metal detectors. They will not be allowed to carry matchsticks, tyres, firearms and other inflammable items.

Dalma range official said two generator sets have been requisitioned to temporarily install lights on the route.

Shivratri fetches revenues for Ranchi wildlife division, which looks after the Dalma reserve. Devotees are charged Rs 2 each for visiting the temple. There are separate charges for vehicles.

Over 50,000 devotees, mostly from steel city Jamshedpur, Chandil, Ghatshila and surrounding areas, and villages dotting the NH-33, on the auspicious occasion participate in it. CFL bulbs will be used along the stretch.

Foresters and trackers (village youths who are roped in on a daily wage basis), with torches in hands, will keep vigil at the entry points and also the temple. “We will depute 40 trackers on the Fadlugora route and 60 for Makulakocha,” a forester said.

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