A large number of devotees thronged Mahakaleshwar temple in Madhya Pradesh’s Ujjain district to offer prayers on the occasion of the fifth ‘Shravan Somvar’
The devotees started queueing up in the early morning to seek the blessings of Lord Shiva at the temple and they also participated in a special ‘Bhasma Aarti’ of Baba Mahakal performed here on the occasion.
‘Bhasma aarti’ (offering with ashes) is a famous ritual here. It is performed during the ‘Brahma Muhurta’ around 3:30 and 5:30 in the morning.
According to the priest of the temple Gaurav Sharma, before the Bhasma Aarti, the holy bath of Baba Mahakal with water and Panchamrit Mahabhishek were performed in which the Lord was anointed with milk, curd, ghee, honey, and fruit juices. After that Baba Mahakal was decorated with bhang, sandalwood, and then dressed in clothes. Thereafter, Bhasma Aarti was performed amid the beating of drums and blowing of conch shells.
‘Sawan’ also known as ‘Shravan’ is the fifth month of the Hindu lunar calendar, and is considered as one of the holiest months. Every Monday during this period is regarded as a highly auspicious time to fast and seek the blessings of Lord Shiva.
According to religious beliefs, Shravan month is considered to be the favourite month of Lord Shiva. It is believed that by worshipping Lord Shiva in this period, people get immediate relief from their troubles. This year Sawan will last for 59 days, from July 4 to August 31.
Besides, there is a tradition of taking out Baba Mahakal’s sawari (ride) on Mondays in the month of Shravan-Bhado. Therefore today Baba Mahakal’s ride will also be taken out. It is believed that in order to find out the condition of the people, Baba Mahakal goes on a tour of the city. The devotees wait for hours on the roadside to witness the ride and consider themselves blessed to get a glimpse of Mahakal.