The Chandrabhan Matt Shiv Temple in Koti is spruced up with colours for the grand Maha Shivratri celebration (P. Surendra/DC)
Hyderabad: One of the most revered Hindu festivals, Maha Shivaratri, and Shani Trayodashi, an auspicious day to perform puja to the Shani deity, are falling on the same day on Saturday this year, a rare coincidence that hasn't happened in several decades and which amplifies the significance of the day.
Devotees from across the city will perform pujas all day long at Lord Shiva temples for Shivaratri, with the Sri Ramalingeswara Swamy temple in Keesara and Sri Sringeri Shankar Mutt in Nallakunta receiving a large number of devotees. The majority of Hindus will fast all day and remain awake all night long till the morning.
The devout believe that Maha Shivaratri is the night when Shiva performs His cosmic dance called the Tandava. According to folklore, Lord Shiva and Shakti, His celestial consort, were wed for a second time on this night. "The Night of Lord Shiva" is in remembrance of their glorious union.
On this day, temples will be decorated and hold devotional programmes and pujas. There will be "Abhishekam" followed by a "Eka Dasha Rudrabhishakem" at the Birla Mandir in the heart of the city, where a large number of devotees are expected to show up.
"Shani Trayodashi coincides with Maha Shivaratri, which is a rare occurrence and very auspicious day," said M. Lakshmi Narasimha, head priest at Birla Mandir.
The 300-year-old Sri Khadgeswara Mahadev temple in Pan Bazaar in Secunderabad, known as Lala Gudi temple, will be in all its splendour and brimming with devotees and hold pujas until the next morning. "The temple has been renovated for the festival and will be open from 5 am till noon on the following day," said temple priest Radha Krishna Gondiker.
Sri Dharmapuri Kshetram in Miyapur is another temple that witness a large number of devotees on Maha Shivaratri. "From several years we have been witnessing devotees flooding the temple. Cultural and devotional programmes are organised on this day," said Shashi Reddy, a member of Paramparaa group that promotes temples.
A classical dance performance is being organised by Dr Rajeshwari Sainath and her team. The uniqueness of this temple is that there are 18 temples for Mallana (Lord Shiva), Ganapathi, Kumaraswami, Durga Malleswaraswamy, Saraswathi Devi, Lord Venkateswara and Padmavathi Devi, Sri Sanjeevani Abhaya Lord Anjaneya, Shirdi Saibaba, Lord Ayyappa and Goddess Mahankali.