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Lakhs and lakhs of devotees visited the holy place and performed Poojas, Sevas and Utsavas.  Devotees enjoyed the festival by their customs & traditional ways.

The Special Pooja with Abhishekam started early at 3 in the morning.  The night pooja and abhishekam held with a huge crowd of devotees. 

7th of March "Enne Majjana" pooja [Oil Bath] to Sri Male Mahadeshwara Swamy celebrated with large crowd of devotees.

It is a practice that the devotees arrive to the hills on the day of Shivarathri, stay there by performing the poojas till the last day of the jaathra ie., Maha Rathothsava, held on 11th of March

Some photographs of Shivarathri


Maha Shivarathri Festival
Maha Shivarathri Pooja Devotees in temple at night
Chariot ready for procession Devotees taking bath @ Antharag ange

Wonderful traditional practices for the Lord

There is a practice of performing wonderful traditional ways of poojas and sevas to achieve Sri Male Mahadeshwara's grace.

Devotees perform mock weddings to a man with a man.  They used to do all 'Shastras' as they do in the real marriages.  

They used to cook their food for all four days they stay at the hills.

Usually kids, girls, women even grannys never dance in other temples.  But here, there is a practice of dancing to the Lord by all ages of female devotees.  They forget themselves in the Lord and dance with the folk dancing styles.  It will be so nice to have such dances with the drum-beats.  Not only on the day of Maha Shivarathri, also the devotees dance for the Lord all the four days since Shivarathri to the day of Maha Rathothsava, Kondothsava.

Rathothsavam startes in the morning.  Lakhs together devotees participate in the Rathothsavam every year.  The devotees get back immediately when the procession is over.  It will be like a miracle that, it is crowded in such a way as one can not put foot since Maha Shivarathri festival day, but after the procession, within few minutes the hill becomes almost empty.  It happens every year.
The Chariot of the Lord
Dance for the Lord  Bringing the Lord (Uthsava Moorthy) to the Maha Chariot
Dance with bear's hair  Mangalaarathi to the Lord on Chariot by small girls.
Pooja to the Lord The procession with a huge crowds of devotees
There will be a Kondothsava Pooja at the night of Maha Rathothsav day.  The persons who are called "Thammadis" will do the poojas at the Garbhagudi will walk on the fire carrying the Lord.
Walking on the fire by the "Thammadis"
Waving the fire The fire-track to walk