Adi Yogi and Maha Shivaratri at the Isha Foundation

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So here I was all set to take a Jet Airways flight to Coimbatore to see and partake in the festivities of Shivaratri. The statue of Adi Yogi Shiva, which stands 112 metres tall, was unveiled as huge crowds gathered on the field in the outskirts of Coimbatore. It was a huge affair with crowds from all over India. The security was strict and no one was allowed to take their bags and cameras inside the festival area as Prime Minister Modi himself was there to unveil the statue of Shiva.

Photo of Isha foundation, Coimbatore Road, Kalmandapam, Palakkad, Kerala, India by Anuj Tikku

The heat was a bit too much in the afternoon and the arrangements, according to me, were not up to the mark. Drinking water and food stalls were limited and there was chaos in the stands. I, however, managed to get some photos of Shiva from afar.

Photo of Adi Yogi and Maha Shivaratri at the Isha Foundation by Anuj Tikku

Next day, I had a throbbing headache due to the heat and was bed ridden the entire day. I managed to reach Isha Ashram the following day.

Photo of Adi Yogi and Maha Shivaratri at the Isha Foundation by Anuj Tikku

The ashram has excellent facilities and attracts a lot of foreigners. The foreigners come here to understand Indian spirituality and to partake in the festivities. Once I checked into my room, I took a stroll around the Ashram. I sat in the cafeteria, had rose milk and chatted with the local people. In the middle is the large statue of Nandi, the bull, which is made of black stone.

Photo of Adi Yogi and Maha Shivaratri at the Isha Foundation by Anuj Tikku

On the opposite side is the water pool energised with mercury water where men can bathe and cleanse their body and soul. It is spiritual and made for the well-being of the common man.

Photo of Adi Yogi and Maha Shivaratri at the Isha Foundation by Anuj Tikku

The vibes were very positive here and I enjoyed every bit of it. But it was no different than being on the banks of the Ganga in Haridwar or Rishikesh soaking in the fresh air.

Photo of Adi Yogi and Maha Shivaratri at the Isha Foundation by Anuj Tikku

Here, we were in a more synthetic surrounding. It was not a natural setting but a man-made one. My camera clicked away at will capturing the sights and sounds of the place as devotees strolled in the walkways and garden area.

Photo of Adi Yogi and Maha Shivaratri at the Isha Foundation by Anuj Tikku

With shops selling ayurvedic products and books, there was enough money to be made in the ashram and it looked to be flourishing.

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