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.
16th February we reached Rajkot by train because train tickets till Junagadh was not available. After refreshing ourselves at Waiting Room at Rajkot Railway Station we continued our journey till Junagadh – two hours journey by another train in general compartment. Train fare – Rs. 25/- per person.
Junagadh railway station to Girnar Taleti is approx. 4 km distance. Auto are available outside station and charges Rs.10/15 per person.
Mahashivaratri day during morning hours we visited Bhavnath Mahadev temple to offer prayers and a walk around Bhavnath Taleti to watch 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 past 7 years and many more.. There was huge rush of Naga baba devotees during the fair even at day time.
During night hours at 8 pm we reached Taleti againÂ but this time there was police barricade at the main Taleti entrance so we have to walk approx. 3 km to reach nearby Bhavnath Mahadev temple to watch Maharashivaratri procession.
It was crowded. A local said 6 lacs devotees from various cities, towns and villages visited to attend fair. I was able to pass via few thousands people only to capture photos of Mahashivaratri procession. Further to Bhavnath temple visitÂ was impossible because of devotees, procession and crowd in huge huge numbers to watch. Anyway, I was happy at least I have visited the fair during day and night time – wish fulfilled. Because of short trip days I was unable to climb Girnar mountain but yes, the wish is – maybe during Girnar yatra after 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 fair at least once.
BhavnathÂ fair rewinds memory when I visited Kumbh mela at Allahabad in the year 2013.