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Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Mahashivaratri At Sivasagar, Assam

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Imtiaz Ullah
Imtiaz Ullahhttps://nomadlawyer.org/about/
Imtiaz Ullah is the founder of travel website - NomadLawyer. A Corporate Lawyer, Senior Travel Correspondent, The Traveller Trails magazine and also acts as an Advisory Member, NGO - Sarvahitey. His travel philosophy is exploring new places, meeting new people, knowing the culture, eating like a local. He always believes in the idea-“ Don't just be a traveller but a Responsible one”.

Sivasagar, is the place where I originally hail from. This place is very close to my heart as I have spent a substantial time of my childhood in our ancestral home, Dhai Ali. My school vacation meant a trip to this beautiful place and spent time with my extended family.  Sivasagar as a place has always fascinated me.

Sivasagar, named after its ruler, Shiva Singha is a city of great historical importance in Assam. Situated in the Northeastern part of India, the city attracts a lot of tourists every year. It may be called the pride of Assam due to its rich and ancient cultural heritage.

Through this blog, I will throw light on the Mahashivaratri festival, celebrated in this place of historical and religious significance.

From my childhood I have seen Sivasagar being decked up during Shivaratri. It is always fascinating to see the historic district of Sivasagar in Assam comes alive with the iconic Maha Shivratri festival being held at Sivadol, the 18th-century Ahom-era shrine.

People and tourists from all over the world visit the famous Sivadol to witness Shivaratri. People from all walks of life and religion consider themselves to be part of the Shivaratri Mela. I was always spellbound to see Shivaratri Mela in Sivasagar.

The auspicious festival of Maha Shivaratri is celebrated with devotion and religious fervor all over India and even beyond. Though fasting and worship of Shiva Linga with a ritual bath remain the common feature of Shivaratri celebrations at all places, minor variations due to regional difference can be observed in some states.

Know About Sivasagar

 Sivasagar is famous for its three Hindu temples of Sivadol, Visnudol and Devidol. Situated on the banks of the artificial Borpukhuri Lake in the center of town, the temples were constructed in 1734 by the Ahom dynasty queen Bar Raja Ambika. The Ahoms, who migrated from southern China in 1228, controlled the region until the arrival of the British. 

Maha Shivaratri in Sivasagar, Assam.

The temples (dol means temple in Assamese) are dedicated to Shiva, Vishnu and Durga, the three primary deities of Hinduism. Sivadol is considered the tallest Shiva temple in India, rising to 104 feet (32 meters). Inside the Sivadol temple is a Shiva Lingam with a unique form; in contrast to nearly all other Shiva Lingams in India, which protrude from the ground, the naturally occurring Sivadol Lingam is reversed into the ground.

The temple complex is visited by hundreds of thousands of pilgrims every year with huge festivals on Maha Shivaratri (February or March), Hare Krishna Kirtan (July, August or September), Durga Puja (September or October), Dol Purnima (February or March) and Rath Yatra (June or July).

Mahashivratri Utsav and Mela

The four-day-long Mahashivratri Utsav and Mela 

commences in Sivasagar around the historic Shiva Doul (temple). 

During the festival, the Sivasagar Doul Unyan Parishad in association with Sivasagar district administration organizes a fair for the people visiting the temple around the doul beside the Borpukhuri and at the playground of Phuleswari Girls’ HS School and Tai Sangskriti Bikash Kendra premises, with various stalls selling food items, clothes and furniture. Some of the attractions of the mela include Chitrahaar, dance and other performances.

Come visit the historical place of Sivasagar to witness the famous Shivaratri festival!

Travel, and Don’t Stop!

Pictures contributed by Sahil Mahboob

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