RAMESWARAM, INDIA, February 27, 2019 (Deccan Chronicle): Several hundred thousand pilgrims from different parts of India are expected to congregate in Rameswaram for the coming Shivarathri festival on March 4 this year, as it is a rare occasion with astronomical significance reappearing after 54 years. The Shivarathri Punyakaalam this year is accompanied by the transits of the planets of Guru, Sukran, Rahu and Kethu, and such a phenomenon is occurring as per the Hindu almanac after 54 years, said the chief priest at the Sri Ramanathaswamy temple here, Sri Chandrasekhara Sarma.
"Offering worship to Lord Shiva on this Shivarathri on such an occasion will confer all possible benefits to the devotees," explained Sarma, adding, due to this rare astronomical combination with its astrological implications, a heavy rush of pilgrims, particularly from North India was expected for the festival this year. The 12-day festival, which began on Monday, has lined up special pujas each day and as part of the festivities, the processional Deities of Lord Ramanathaswamy and his consort Parvathavarthini Ambal, were taken in a procession on the four Mada streets around the temple today on the second day. Hundreds of people came out of their houses to have darshan of the Lord.