Maha Shivratri (Great Night of Lord Shiva), the Hindu festival dedicated to Lord Shiva, was celebrated with religious fervour by devotees.
Hindu devotees observed fast and offered prayers to Lord Shiva by pouring milk and water on the Shiv ling and adorning it with beautiful flowers.
Maha Shivratri is observed on the 13th night/ 14th day of the 11th Hindu month of Phalguna or Maagh (February - March) every year. There are various interesting mythological stories that are being shared as to why Shivratri is celebrated. One such story is that the formless God appeared in the form of 'Lingodbhav Moorti' at midnight on Maha Shivratri and is said to be the reason why devotees stay awake in the night and offer prayers to the Lord.
To know about other mythological stories regarding Shivratri, click HERE.
Thousands of devotees took holy dip at various pilgrim destinations on the occasion of Maha Shivratri. Since early morning, several devotees formed long lines of queue in various temples in India to offer prayers, flowers and fruits to the Almighty. The day is also observed with the Hindu holy men smoking Marijuana (which Lord Shiva is said to be fond of) and smearing their bodies with ashes.
The festival was also celebrated in Nepal, where devotees from India and other South Asian countries visited the famous Pashupatinath temple to offer prayers to the Lord.
More than 4,000 saints and 150 Naga Sadhus arrived at the historic temple and offered prayers, reported The Press Trust of India. Nepal President Ram Baran Yadav and Vice President Parmananda Jha also reportedly visited the temple for the Shivratri festival.
Check below for other pictures of Maha Shivratri celebrations