Mahashivaratri Procession at Bhavnath Fair (2015)

Mahashivaratri Procession at Bhavnath Fair (2015)

17th February 2015 was Mahashivaratri. Bhavnath Fair is held on this day at Girnar Taleti and Mahashivaratri procession during night hours when hundreds of Naga baba take a dip in holy Mrigi Kund.

On 16th February we reached Rajkot by train because train tickets till Junagadh were not available. After refreshing ourselves in the Waiting Room at Rajkot Railway Station we continued our journey to Junagadh – two hours journey by another train in the general compartment. Train fare – Rs. 25/- per person.

Junagadh railway station to Girnar Taleti is approx. 4 km distance. Auto is available outside the station and charges Rs.10/15 per person.

On Mahashivaratri day during morning hours, we visited Bhavnath Mahadev temple to offer prayers and walk around Bhavnath Taleti to watch a fair where Naga Babas are present inside their makeshift tent. A Naga baba lying on thorny branches and another Naga baba laden with 11,00 rudraksha beads and another Naga baba standing on one leg for the past 7 years and many more… There was a huge rush of Naga baba devotees during the fair even in day time.

During the night hours at 8 pm we reached Taleti again but this time there was a police barricade at the main Taleti entrance so we have to walk approx. 3 km to reach the nearby Bhavnath Mahadev temple to watch the Maharashivaratri procession.

It was crowded. A local said 6 lacs devotees, from various cities, towns, and villages visited to attend the fair. I was able to pass via a few thousand people only to capture photos of the Mahashivaratri procession. Further to the Bhavnath temple visit was impossible because of devotees, procession, and crowds in huge huge numbers watching. Anyway, I was happy at least I visited the fair during the day and night time – wish fulfilled. Because of the short trip days, I was unable to climb Girnar mountain but yes, the wish is – maybe during Girnar yatra after the Diwali festival I will try to visit again.

The weather was somewhat warm even in the month of February in Junagadh. Auto service is very good and even during late-night hours to return to city autos were available. One should attend a fair at least once.

Bhavnath fair rewinds memory of when I visited Kumbh Mela in Allahabad in the year 2013.

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