On the eve of Shivratri, over 200 devis and devtas will take part in week-long International Shivratri Fair at Mandi town. Fair will begins from February 21 and lord Raj Madhav, believed to be the presiding lord of the fair.
After the traditional puja performed by Shivaratri Mela Committee (SMC) Chairman-cum-DC, Mandi, at the Raj Madhav temple in Damdama palace, built by erstwhile kings of the former Mandi state, devtas will pay their obeisance at the temple and the Bhootnath temple before they take shelter in traditional venues in the town.
On February 21, the devtas will participate in the traditional procession of Raj Madhav in which Chief Minister PK Dhumal will be the chief guest. The procession will start from the Raj Madhav temple to the Paddal Maidan, where the devis and the devtas mingle with one another and bless devotees before they proceed back on a home journey.
The Shivratri festival is unique as it begins when the Shivratri festivities end in the rest of the country. It is a rare fair as it combines three main religious traditions represented by Lord Shiva, Lord Krishna and Lord Vishnu, said cultural pandits here. Apart from the procession, the SMC has invited six major performers for the cultural nights. The first cultural night on February 21 will feature a Punjabi singer.
Administration assured for the unprecedented security cover during the fair. SP, Mandi, Abhishek Dular said law and order, traffic and parking arrangements have been made and extra police force would be deployed during the festival.