Friday, August 7, 2009

Shiva Ratri in Mauritius...

As I said earlier also, Mauritius is a country where people celebrate festivals with at most joy and religious feelings, same is shown for Shiva Ratri… Main attraction for this festival is that almost 90% of people from Hindu community walk down to Grand Basin, a place where they have biggest statue of Shiva in Mauritius (One of the biggest statue of Shiva in world) and has a sacred pond named as Ganga Talao to offer their prayers to Lord Shiva. Our land lord told us about this well in advance and asked us to be prepared for this. This place is about 24-26 Kms from our place rose hill.
Nishu was quite keep to walk for this but I was a but scared as I had to go to office after this… but later I came to know that we have leave after this so I made my mind to join her. Since entire Mauritius was walking for this so there was no issue to know the way to temple. Two days before Shiva Ratri we started for the temple early in the morning. We did not see much people on internal street but as soon as we hit the main road we saw a number of people walking.
As we were told, this was well managed. People were walking in a row and no matter they we single, group or carrying the KAWAR. Every kilometer or two stalls were there to offer food, juice , tea coffee to the people walking to feel the refresh and have gain energy…after every few kilometers medical facilities were there and proper Police arrangement was there to help people and to maintain the arrangements.
This day it started raining since morning and we had only an umbrella to protect. Any how we were on our way taking rest and shield from rain on the way. We walked well and reached the temple by 12:00 noon. It was full of people offering their prayers and place was full of beautiful KAWARs. We offered our prayers first and then had small refreshment.
It was now 3:00 PM and was time to return. After some time I started feeling tired as I was carrying heavy bag and was wet also. Anyhow I managed to walk few kilometers and crossed the village on the way and as soon as we reached to a town we got a bus. By now rods were almost block on one side as so many people were walking. Bus took quite some time to pass and by 8:00 PM we were at home. We took a bath in hot water and had some food which we carried with us. We were too tired that we never knew when we slept.
Next to next was it was the festival and we went to temple and offered the JAL to lord Shiva. Since people were coming in small groups today we had enough time to do our prayers…
It was really a great experience and I was fully surprised to see the crowed on the road and devotion of people for Lord Shiva.

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