Shivratri celebrations rent the air across the country. It is the time for joy and celebration. The end of winter and advent of spring brings with it a time for fervent devotion and intense faith. While Shivratri is widely observed and celebrated in various forms across the country, the historic and culturally rich city of Khajuraho has its own unique form of commemorating the day. Shiv Vivaha, the wedding of Shiva, the supreme godhead, and his consort the Divine Feminine, Parvati, is held in the Khajuraho temple complex under the aegis of The LaLiT Arts Festival 2019.
Khajuraho is a city that is known for its rich and colourful history. The group of Hindu and Jain temples in the Khajuraho Group of Monuments is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Of the temples built by the rulers of the Chandela dynasty between the late 1st century and the early 2nd century CE, only about 20 remain, but each of them is a superlative example of ancient Indian architecture. The sculptures of the temples are the perfect marriage of religious symbolism and the erotic ideologies of the time. Most of the Hindu idols in the complex depict goddesses from the pantheon. It is but befitting that the Lord Shiva and Parvati wedding festivities are celebrated with these grand temples as a backdrop.
The LaLiT Temple View Khajuraho is one of the top heritage hotels of the city of Khajuraho. Its proximity to the temple complex makes it a favourite with the visitors. It is to promote the city as a tourist and cultural destination that The LaLiT Group of Hotels has been organising the Shiv Vivah in Khajuraho during the Shivratri festival for the past seven years now. Not only is this a depiction of the celestial union of Shiv-Shakti, it is a revival of the glorious traditions and showcases the customs that make Khajuraho a unique and attractive destination.
Guests participating in the Shiv Baraat shall be accorded a befitting welcome with aarti and teeka and following a very traditional wedding script, shall leave the hotel grounds and arrive at the “wedding venue”, the Western Temple Festival Ground. The grand baraat procession proceeds from the hotel grounds to the temple complex where it is welcomed by traditional kathak dancers who perform a wonderful recital based on “Parvanti Mangal”, a rendition of the renowned saint-poet of the 16th century, Tulsidas, set to the music of Sharon Lowen. Nishita Nanda and Vishwanath Managarag play the lead in the dance extravaganza that follows and culminates in the Shiv Vivaha. The hotel and the temple festival grounds are done up in traditional décor matching the celestial wedding. Kamalini Dutta’s art forms the stunning backdrop for these magnificent celebrations.
Year after year the Shiv Vivaha by The LaLiT Temple View Khajuraho has attracted the greatest art connoisseurs, culture lovers, and travel enthusiasts. It is much more than a religious celebration. It is a showcase of India’s cultural brilliance and a tribute to the classical music and dance traditions that form a part of our heritage. Adding to the luxury component of the festival, The LaLiT Temple View Khajuraho also adds on a number of perks such as guided tours to the temple complex and a picnic at the Raneh Water Falls apart from delightful puppet shows and light and sound shows. The sandhya aarti in Khajuraho is just as spectacular as the ones that have captivated our faith on the Ganges.
This March, we have the perfect opportunity to celebrate Shiv Vivaah while indulging in the natural beauty and cultural bounty of Khajuraho at the same time.