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article imageDevotees visit Shiva temples on sacred month of Shravan

By Sravanth Verma     Jul 21, 2014 in World
New Delhi - Devotees across the northern part of India visited temples of the god Shiva on July 14, to mark the first Monday of the holy month of Shravan.
Devotees typically offer milk, ghee, honey, vermillion, incense and holy water at the temples in the early hours of the day. Pathak Sharma, a priest in the city of Hardwar, a center of pilgrimage on the banks of the river Ganga, explained that devotees usually offer different kinds of liquids to Lord Shiva, seeking fulfillment of their wishes.
"Shravan is the month of water, so the devotees in this month offer liquid like milk, curd, holy water, ghee and honey praying for their prosperity, happiness and fulfilment of their wishes," said Pathak.
Shiela Kumari, a devotee from Gorakhpur, said, "Today we offered water and milk to Lord Shiva [...] To offer our prayers, we visit the temples every morning and evening for five consecutive Monday [sic] of this month."
Saffron-clad devotees of Lord Shiva, known as Kanwarias, undertake their journey on foot to various pilgrimage places such as Hardwar, the glacial origin of the river Ganga at Gomukh and the temple to Ganga at Gangotri in the North Indian state of Uttarakhand, to fetch the waters of the river. The water is considered holy and purificatory in nature. The Kanwarias chant religious hymns and songs in praise of Lord Shiva, outside the temples in a bid to please the deity.
The month of Shravan is considered one of the holiest in the Indian lunar calendar and corresponds to the months of July/August in the Gregorian calendar. It marks the Sun's entry into the zodiac sign of Leo.
Shiva is a significant deity in the Hindu way of life, and represents the forces of destruction in the universe. He is also considered the Mahadeva or the "Great Lord," and is worshiped in various forms for those seeking success in different aspects of life.
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