Indian pilgrims join Maha Shivratri fetivities at Katas Raj Temple in Pakistan

March 3rd, 2008 - 5:23 pm ICT by admin  

Lahore, Mar 3 (ANI): A group of over 200 Hindu pilgrims from India are visiting the world famous Katas Raj temple here on the occasion of Maha Shivratri, the festival devoted to Lord Shiva.
The delegation led by MLA Rajni Kant Chawla and her sister Mala, was to reach the Joint Check Post at Wagah Border today, said a report published in the Daily Times.
Senior officers of the Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) of Pakistan at Wagah Railway Station were to receive the group, from there they were scheduled to proceed to Gurdwara Dera Sahib.
Thousands of Hindus will visit the Katas Raj temple for Maha Shivratri on Thursday (March 6) from across the Pakistan. Security and other arrangements have been finalised by the ETPB and the other related departments.
According to Faraz Abbas, Deputy Administrator of Evacuee Trust Property Board, the pilgrims would reach Gurdwara Dera Sahib today.
On Tuesday morning, the pilgrims will leave for Katas Raj Temple, where they will stay till the concluding ceremony of the event, which is till March 6 after visiting the Hindu holy places in and around the city, the pilgrims will return to Lahore on March 7, and then return to India, Abbas said.
Besides, pilgrims from other countries and a large number of Hindus living in different parts Pakistan will also join the Maha Shivratri celebrations.
Hindus will fast on Maha Shivratri. Some devotees do not even drink water and stay up all night, said Faraz Abbas.
The Shiva Lingam (the phallic symbol Lord Shiva) is worshipped throughout the night, as people wash it every three hours with milk, curd, honey and rose water, whilst chanting Om Namah Shivaya.
Hindus living in Lahore, while explaining about the festivities, said the word Maha Shivratri means the night of Shiva, and ceremonies are pre-arranged chiefly at night time. Maha Shivratri is the night on which Lord Shiva and Parvati got married.
On this occasion, the Hindu community throughout Pakistan celebrates Maha Shivratri and that the event is particularly popular in interior Sindh, the report added. (ANI)

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