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Bhavnath Mahadev Fair

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.

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http://www.gswan.gov.in, Gujarat State Wide Area Network Gujarat Tourism : External website that opens in a new window http://india.gov.in, The National Portal of India https://www.digitalgujarat.gov.in/, Digital Gujarat