Lucknow temple breaks centuries-old tradition for rivers’ conservation

Lucknow, March 7 (IANS) A 700-year-old tradition was broken at the famous Mankameshwar temple here on Monday when water from the Gomti river was used for ‘jal abhishek’ on Mahashivratri to spread the message of conservation of all rivers.

As thousands of devotees poured into the temple to pay obeisance to Lord Shiva, chief priest Divya Giri performed the bathing ritual on the Shiva ‘linga’ with water brought from the Gomti.

“The Mankameshwar temple has been using Ganga ‘jal’ (water from the holy Ganga river) for ‘jal abhishek’ for the past 700 years. A new tradition has begun, so that everyone realises his or her duties to keep all rivers clean and treat them with equal respect,” Divya Giri said.

By using the water of the Gomti, we wanted to create awareness among the devotees that they should take care of all the rivers, she added.

Meanwhile, lakhs of devotees thronged temples across Uttar Pradesh amid tight security on the occasion of Mahashivratri.

Reports of massive crowds of devotees were received from the Kashi Vishwanath temple in Varanasi and Mankameshwar temple in Agra as well as many Shiva temples in neighbouring Uttarakhand.

Heavy security arrangements have been made to avert terror strikes, after intelligence inputs about terrorists infiltrating into the country from Pakistan.

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