But that is a story for some other time
Any way back to festives
Did u now? There are 84 ghats in Varanasi alongs with submerging of 5 rivers and a lot of stories related to that and the name Banaras is given because it means 82 ghats originally existed and 2 have been added recently by our govt.
I now i get lost a lot!
Ok no more off topics now ok just one!
There are 2 entrance to the temple one for normal people and one for VIPs
There is a screen to see the ritual and it is still under construction
I found that kind discriminating yet obsolate because I myself attended through a VIP ticket that made us sit infront of the gates of the Shivaling and see the ritual being performed
Ok back to it!
First the history!
When u enter u see a part of the area under construction
And the a heavily guarded Mosque just next to it with White Minaret and black walls
And the Temple next to it with Golden and White Sikhara
The story in short is when Turkish and Mughal rulers came they destroyed the temples and took the gold
And when Aurangzeb came in power he broke the Shivaling in half and threw it in the well killing all the Hindus
And build a mosque in place of it
Later a hindu ruler by the name of Somnath he was a Gujarati ruler he sent his swimmers down the well in search for the Shivaling but could not find it,
Therefore the only original proof of history there is the Nandi statue and the well it was thrown in
Now the ritual
We are first called and seated at the four door facing the Shivaling
A priest chants shiv mantras while washing the Shivaling with holy water from three rivers Ganga Yamuna and Saraswati.
He then proceedes to apply roli and haldi to the three corners othe temple that has the the status of Kali Vishnu And Ganesh
He then pours milk, curd, ghee, honey on the Shivaling
Further he showers the Shivaling with shower that is connected directly to the Ganga along with holy water frm Yamuna and Saraswati while chanting mantras,
After cleansing the surrounding he drys the surroundings
Then Pours oil, scented extracts and with the help of the oldest priest covers the Shivaling with a paste of chandan and ashes (from the ganga Aarti) and covers the Shivaling with bail leaves with Ram written on it.
He also places fruits, sweets and other eminents around the Shivaling
He then procedes to decorates the surrouding with flowers and a flower Mukut (crown) is made and is place on top of the Shivaling
In the end a series of light camphor is place and lit along with the Aarti thali and the bells and shank is rang in harmony with the Shiv Mantras
I do not know about you but for me it was a peaceful and spiritual experience with lots of learning...