Vibrant chants of ‘Om Namah Shivaya’ echoed throughout the ambiance of Dharmasthala through the entire night of Maha Shivarathri, this 4th of March. Over 20,000 devotees arrived on foot to the hometown of Lord Manjunatha from all over Karnataka, alongside thousands of others who added to the intensity of the temple town this day.
Maha Shivarathri is amongst the most prominent occasions observed at Dharmasthala. Lord Manjunatha being the presiding deity, he is revered with extra grandeur this day with a Rathotsava where he is brought out of the temple just once a year. The Ratha carries the Lord from the temple to the Sanyasi Katte where a few rituals are completed before he is taken back.
At 6PM, Dharmadhikaari Dr. D Veerendra Heggade, Maatrushree Hemavathi Heggade and others initiated the mass chanting or Panchakshari Patana which took place throughout the night by more than 20,000 devotees. The temple surroundings came alive with the spirit of devotion and endurance of the people involved in chanting the mantra. Shiva Rathri being the celebration of the very essence of the temple was a delight to the senses last evening.