Mangaluru, Feb 17, 2015: A spurt of devotees headed for Sri Kshetra Dharmasthala on the eve of Shivarathri celebrated with religious fervor and gaiety on February 17. While devotees descending on Dharmasthala on important religious occasions a rule rather than exception. More than 20,000 of them are reaching Sri Kshetra on foot alone.
Devotees from far Bengaluru, Mysuru, Hassan, Chikkamagalur, Tumakuru, Kodagu, Madhugiri who have formed their own Padayatra Seva Samitis are arriving the temple town in batches. The padayatris include children and women as well. Each of these samitis includes a minimum of 300 and maximum of 700 devotees who are walking all the way to Dharmasthala to fulfill various vows made by them.
A striking observation of the padayatris is determination, and discipline that each of them is dispalys. Reciting the name of Lord Shiva and following rules of a vow fulfillment, the devotees have also been accepting with humility all help that people enroute have provided them. The devotees had a bath in the Nethravathi, obtained darshan of the presiding deity and met dharmadhikari D Veerendra Heggade.
The devotees will participate in the Shivarathri celebrations that will be held in the Kshetra. Devotees fast all day long and also participate in the overnight ’jagaran’ (awakening) as part of the Shivarathri ritual. Lord Shiva is revered in the form of Lord Manjunatha, the presiding deity of the Sri Kshetra and Shivarathri, a day dedicated to the universal destroyer is celebrated with religious fervor year after year.