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Hindus celebrate Maha Shivratri

New Delhi, Wed, 02 Mar 2011 ANI

New Delhi, Mar.2 (ANI): Thousands of devotees flocked to temples across India today to celebrate the Hindu festival of Maha Shivaratri.


The festival celebrates the marriage of Lord Shiva to the Goddess Parvati, and holds immense importance in Hindu religion.


Devotees stood in long queues outside temples with religious offerings to worship Lord Shiva.


Tej Prasad Sharma, priest of the Gauri Shankar Temple in Delhi said: "Since three o'clock in the morning devotees are flocking to the temple to worship Lord Shiva. Devotees are coming from faroff places for worshiping and offering milk, curd, honey, bael (wood apple) leaves. Whoever offers these items to Lord Shiva today, their wishes come true."n Surat, devotees gathered to see a unique 25-feet-high Shivalingam, a phallic representation of Lord Shiva, made of Rudraksha beads.


Giving details of the intricately built structure, its creators said: " This is a magnificent, unparalleled and glorious Shivling which has been made for the first time in India. This is the world tallest Shivlinga standing tall at 25 feet and width of 13 feet."


" It has been made out of 1.5 million Rudraksh beads. The Lingam which you can see has taken 15 years to complete in Dharampur and has been recorded in the Limca Book of Records as India's tallest Rudraksh Lingam," they added.


He further spoke about the significance of the Shivalingam.


Pilgrims have also gathered at holy cities in Varanasi, Allahabad, Barabanki, Ayodhya and Mathura to celebrate the festival.


In Allahabad, pilgrims took to take a holy dip at the confluence of three rivers.


Security was tight in all the states where the celebrations are taking place. Additional forces were provided in the sensitive districts of Varanasi, Lucknow, Faizabad, Gorakhpur, Allahabad, Mathura, Aligarh and Chitrakoot.


Security was tight in and around the famous Kashi Vishwanath temple, Varanasi.


In Jammu and Kashmir, the Maha Shivratri festival is being celebrated with enthusiasm and religious fervor, as it is one of the most important festivals of the Kashmiri Pandit community. (ANI)


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