On the sivaratri day 2019 we visited mahendragiri to experience shivaratri at the unique destination where it's observed on hill top one day prior to the shivaratri in other parts of india and devotess go through rough hilly road by foot for 6 km to reach near the Gokarneswar mahadev temple which is said to be built by pandavas.
Being unaware of the special rituals here, we had reached our stay budu international mahendragada the day before maha shivaratri evening. From the hotel staff we came to know that people are already headed for mahendragiri and festive is observed in the night a day before, when devotees spend the night at hill top waiting for sunrise, post sunrise they head back home after offering there prayers to lord gokarneswar temple, said to be built by the pandavs during there exile period.
The ritual is also said to be followed from the pandavas who left mahendragiri on holy shivaratri day morning, after offering prayers to the mahadev.
For us it was an adventurous experience as we had to drive through the temporary road built for event, followed by traffic of vehicles and a treck of 7 kms from parking spot. I hope my video will help you gather information if you plan to come next time, this year the event was cancelled due to covid restrictions.
You can also read detailed story at https://odishadekho.com/TraveLogues/Shivaratri-At-Mahendragiri-Kailash-Of-Odisha/17
By Satyajit Mohanta
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