Hindus celebrate Maha Shivratri festival in Karachi

Published March 7, 2016
The bathing of Shiva during pooja at the Shree Ratneshwar Mahadev Temple during the Maha Shivratri festival on Sunday.—Mohammad Ali/White Star
The bathing of Shiva during pooja at the Shree Ratneshwar Mahadev Temple during the Maha Shivratri festival on Sunday.—Mohammad Ali/White Star

KARACHI: The moonless night, just a day before the appearance of a new moon, saw Hindu devotees in the city head for the temples to celebrate Maha Shivratri here on Sunday.

Due to its location so near the beach, the historic Shree Ratneshwar Mahadev Temple in Clifton was the ideal spot for celebrating Shivratri, also known as ‘night of Shiva’. This occasion celebrating Lord Shiva’s marriage to Parvati Devi has the women preparing a pooja thali for themselves with flowers, coconut, rice, incense sticks and a diya to take to the beach where they walk barefoot just before sunrise.

Dressed in beautiful sarees and adorned with jewellery, the women, who are also fasting, pray for a happy married life with their husbands while the ones still unmarried hope for a handsome and caring life partner. “The men fast, too,” said temple Maharaj Ravi Ramesh, “because the fast is mandatory on all of us.”

But one woman wearing a pretty midnight blue sari with silver embroidery said that her daughter was fasting, not her.

“I have been fasting for so many years. I’m tired, quite frankly. It’s her turn to fast now,” she laughed, gesturing to her daughter.

“Well, as I said the fasting may be compulsory, it also depends on the physical capability of each individual,” the Maharaj said.

The sound of drums and the blowing of the traditional shankh, or the conch shell, made everyone turn to the entrance. A group of young devotees holding orange banners and decorated clay pots, carrying water from the Ganges approached the lowest level of the temple. “They have come here all the way from Chanesar Goth. We have been expecting them. We will bathe Shiva with the holy water,” said the Maharaj before excusing himself to make preparations.

The pooja was to continue till 5am, followed by aarti and then a walk to the sea after which the devotees were free to break their fast and enjoy the feast being prepared for them in the temple kitchen all night long.

Published in Dawn, March 7th, 2016

Opinion

Editorial

Punjab crisis
01 Dec, 2022

Punjab crisis

ADMINISTRATIVE chaos has ruled Punjab ever since the ouster of the PTI government in April, deepening the...
Quetta attack
01 Dec, 2022

Quetta attack

It would be foolishness of the highest order were the authorities to ignore the emerging threat.
World AIDS Day
01 Dec, 2022

World AIDS Day

AS countries mark World AIDS Day on Dec 1, a timely report from Unicef has renewed concerns about the severe...
A call for bloodshed
30 Nov, 2022

A call for bloodshed

The state has wasted precious time by not consolidating its success in pushing TTP out of its strongholds in the north.
Missing childhoods
30 Nov, 2022

Missing childhoods

THE fact is that despite some legal efforts to end the curse of child marriage taking place in Pakistan under the...
Unemployment concerns
30 Nov, 2022

Unemployment concerns

THE ILO finding that labour market recovery from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic in Pakistan, as in many other...