Despite COVID-19 curbs, Jaipur celebrates Mahashivaratri with full fervor
Jaipur: The auspicious day of Mahashivaratri was celebrated with full fervor in the city, albeit the excitement remained tempered for many devotees because of the restrictions imposed on certain rituals and darshans due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Several devotees were left disappointed after the Ekalingeshwar temple administration cancelled darshans this year due to the resurgence of covid-19 cases.
The iconic medieval-era temple is intertwined with the history and devotion of Jaipur. It opens its gates for devotees only once a year on the occasion of Mahashivaratri, drawing crowds from across the city, and nearby towns of Alwar, Dausa, Bhilwara, Ajmer etc.
The celebrations at Ekalingeshwar temple on Mahashivratri have long been considered as the flagship event of the auspicious festival where people wait all night to get into the long queue for their turn to catch a glimpse of the lord.
Small temples located in colonies and parks were full of festivities with devotees waiting for Jalabhishek. Anand Mahajan, a trader, said that for the past several years he had been visiting Ekalingeshwar temple but decided to do pooja at a nearby temple.
“Festivals are an important part of our culture. Just because I couldn’t visit Ekalingeshwar temple doesn’t mean I will allow it to dampen my spirit,” he said.
Similarly, devotees at Jharkhand Mahadev temple will not be able to perform Jalabhishek this year due to covid-19 protocols. Darshans, however, will go on with strict social distancing.
Almost all temples this year have cancelled fairs and crowded bhajans in the evening to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
Mahashivaratri is one of the major festivals of Jaipur, a city also known as “Chhoti kashi,” due to numerous small and big Shiva temples dotted across every nook and corner of the city’s maps.
Ajay Kumar Sharma, a resident of Mansarover told PinkCity post that like every year, he visited Tadkeshwar Mahadev temple on Thursday. “I kept my mask on all the time, maintained social distancing, and completed my darshan without any hassle,” he said.