Rameswaram: Several lakh pilgrims from different parts of India are expected to congregate in Rameswaram for the coming 'Shivarathri' festival on March 4 this year, as it is a rare occasion with astronomical significance re-appearing after 54 years.
The 'Shivarathri Punyakaalam' this year is accompanied by the transits of the planets of 'Guru', 'Sukran', 'Rahu' and 'Kethu', and such a phenomenon is occurring as per the Hindu almanac after 54 years, said the chief priest at the Sri Ramanathaswamy temple here, Sri Chandrasekhara Sarma.
"Offering worship to Lord Shiva on this Shivarathri on such an occasion will confer all possible benefits to the devotees," explained Sarma, adding, due to this rare astronomical combination with its astrological implications, heavy rush of pilgrims, particularly from North India was expected for the festival this year.
The 12-day festival, which began on Monday, has lined up special 'poojas' each day and as part of the festivities, the processional deities of Lord Ramanathaswamy and his consort Parvathavarthini Ambal, were taken in a procession on the four 'Mada' streets around the temple today on the second day. Hundreds of people came out of their houses to have 'darshan' of the Lord.
PAMBAN RAIL BRIDGE TO REOPEN TODAY
Meanwhile, the historic India's first cantilever rail bridge over the sea between Pamban on the mainland and Rameswaram island, which was closed for traffic following repair work, is being reopened for passenger train services operation from February 27 (Wednesday).
The Southern Railway authorities announced that with the repair works on the rail bridge and the painting work over, engineers have certified that the bridge could be thrown open for train services and accordingly train services suspended on this bridge for the past three months, would resume from Wednesday.
This would be a very big relief to tourists and pilgrims travelling to Rameswaram....