Gujarat is a pulsating land of enterprising people with spiritualism. The celebrations for traditional religious festivals are probably the highest in the country. Lord Shiv is the third God of Hindu Triad (Brahma, Vishnu, and Mahesh) and is the destroyer of all evil. With over 1008 names, he is represented as a ‘linga’ – a symbol of regeneration.
The Bhavnath Mahadev Mela is held at the Bhavnath Mahadev Temple, situated at the foot of Mount Girnar in the city of Junagadh. Girnar is a holy abode of the 9 nathas or gods who are considered to be eternal and 84 siddhas or religiously uplifted souls. A five day Bhavnath Mahadev Fair is held during the festival of Mahashivratri which is a worldwide tourist attraction. The Mahapuja (Prayers) of Lord Shiva takes place at midnigh in this temple on the 14th day of the dark half of the month of Magh, as per the Hindu calendar. (Somewhere in February) . The Naga Bavas (sages in nudity) march in procession when the Puja ceremony begins. A palanquin carrying a decorated idol of Lord Dattatreya precedes them. Seated on Elephants, they hold flags and blow counch shells.On the way, they perform dance and exhibit sword sports and other interesting activities. They reach the temple at midnight and take a bathing plunge in the Mrugi Kund (tank) at midnight. Unlike Kumbh Mela, only three akhadas (three groups of Sadhus) take part in the Kund Bath. It is firmly believed that Lord Shiva himself visits the shrine on this occasion. Folk music and dances are performed on the ocassion. Special transportation services are arranged to visit Bhavnath Temple from different parts of Saurashtra. At Bhavnath, free meals are served by organizers. Visitors can also find special tea stalls, idols, rosaries or holy beads brought by vendors from Ayodhya and Mathura. These beads are the sacred ‘rudraksh’ malas available in different forms. Utensils of brass and copper draw attraction.
The Bhavnath Mahadev Temple is surrounded by many ancient holy places resting at the foothills of Girnar. Mahashivratri is the major Annual fair which is gaining popularity for its charismatic appeal.
The Bhavnath Mahadev Temple is located in the Junagadh District which is in Gujarat State of India. Other attractions include Damodar Kund, Mrugi Kund, Sudarshan Talav.
There are two main annual festivals: Maha Shivaratri and Girnar Lili Parikrama.
mostly in the month of February-March (The fair during Mahashivaratri is held for five days commencing from the Hindu calendar date of Magh Vad 11)
The Bhavnath Fair is held at the Bhavnath Mahadev Temple near Damodar Kund, at Girnar Taleti, 8 km from Junagadh. Junagadh has a major railway station, and is also connected by ST buses to cities around the state. The nearest airport is in Rajkot, 110 km away.
Damodar Kund, at Girnar Taleti, Gujarat.
The Bhavnath Mahadev temple is a shrine ensconced in myths and legends of the Puranic era. The Shiva linga here is said to have emerged of its own divine intention. Reportedly, when Shiva and Parvati were traveling over the Girnar Hills their divine garment fell over the present Mrigi Kund, making this place an auspicious site for lord Shiva worshippers. Even today, the naga bavas are known to bathe in the holy Mrigi Kund before joining the Mahashivaratri procession. The fair itself is so ancient that its precise origins are unknown.
Disclaimer: You are requested to check the exact dates with Gujarat Tourism Online office before finalising your travel plans for this festival.
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