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Saturday, July 16, 2011 11:58:22 AM (IST)  

Devotees Throng Shiva Temples, Celebrate 'Shravan'

Lucknow, Jul 16 (IANS): Devotees thronged at Lord Shiva temples in Uttar Pradesh Saturday for offering prayers on the onset of the Hindu month of `Shravan' that heralds the coming of the monsoon.

Amidst chants of `Bam Bam Bhole' and `Har Har Mahadev', devotees were seen awaiting their turn to offer milk, water, honey and leaves of wood apple to Lord Shiva, to whom is dedicated the month of monsoon or Sawan, as 'Shravan' is called colloquially.

"It is believed that Shiva showers his special blessings on those who remember him with an honest heart," Devya Giri, priest of Mankameshwar temple, told reporters here.

Besides Mankameshwar temple, other Shiva temples that witnessed a huge turnout included Buddeshwar, Kalyangiri, Siddhnath and Koneshwar.

In Varanasi, a festive mood was all-pervasive in temples, particularly in the ancient Vishwanath temple, where the ritual `Rudrabhishek' and prayers were performed.

Over 35,000 people, including `Kanwarias' (Shiva devotees) are expected to arrive at the Vishwanath temple by noon, an official said.

Kanwarias, the orange-robed devotees of Lord Shiva, collect holy water of the Ganga river in Haridwar in pots and walk back to their home during Shravan.

Meanwhile, in Allahabad, a large number of devotees took the holy dip in the Sangam - the confluence of the Ganga, the Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati rivers.

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