Maha Shivratri (Hairath) was celebrated with religious fervor across the valley on Tuesday. Kashmiri Pandits devotees went to temples early in the morning to mark their presence before the deity. Hundreds of devotees went to Kher bhawani temple at Tulmulla in central Kashmirs Ganderbal.
Special mantras were recited at Shankar Aacharya, Hanuman Mandir and Ganpat Yaar temples which were followed by prayers in the evening. Muslims exchanged Hairath greetings to their Pandit friends in different localities of the valley.
The temples were decorated days before with different colours and flowers. “The occasion is celebrated throughout the country in general and has a special significance for Kashmiri Pandits”, Rajesh Kumar from Trichal Pulwama told local news agency CNS. He added that valley’s Pandits celebrate it with different customs and unique rituals.
“In the valley on the 2nd day of the festival a special occasion called Salaam or Watak Pooja is performed in every Pundit Gharana”, he said.
“Maha Shivaratri calls for a night devoted to worship of Lord Shiva. This event happens to be in the intervening night of 13th and 14th of the month of Phagun Shivaratri holds immense value for Hindus and is a big day for the devotees of Lord Shiva.