Maha Shivaratri – commonly referred to as Shivaratri, Sivarathri, and Shivaratri – literally means the night of Shiva, and is celebrated on the 13th night/14th day of the Maagha or Phalguna month of the Hindu calendar every year. Even though there are a number of legends pertaining to this auspicious occasion, there is just one motive behind the festival – pleasing the all powerful Lord Shiva.
It is believed honoring Lord Shiva on this night helps worshipers to end bad habits and turn their lives in a better direction. Ironically, Lord Shiva is a favorite with many youth due to his moody temperament and his association with dance and ganja smoking.
The sadhus begin to arrive days ahead and camp on the grounds of the temple complex and the surroundings. The Ram Mandir (Temple of lord RAM) is the main attraction for most of the Sadhus. A particular sect known as the Naga sadhus make for the most arresting sight, their stout bodies completely smeared in ash, their hair in dreadlocks, and without so much as a loin cloth on them. Meaning, they are stark naked.
Location: Pashupati Nath Temple and Surroundings.
Camera: Nikon D600
Lens: Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8, Nikon 16-35mm f/4 VR, Sigma 150mm f/2.8