Gokarna Mahabaleshwar Temple Rathotsav – Chariot Festival at Mahabaleshwar Temple at Gokarna in Karnataka
Gokarna Mahabaleshwar Temple Rathotsav is observed in Phalgun month. It is the important fair and chariot festival at the Mahabaleshwar Temple at Gokarna in Karnataka. The festival is associated with Shivratri. Sogal Someshwara Temple Rathotsav 2018 date is February 17. The annual festival begins on February 8 and ends on February 17, 2018.
The annual fair and festival attracts hundreds of devotees. Numerous rituals are observed during the period. Special pujas and rituals are held on Shivratri day falling on February 13, 2018.
On the final day, a lavishly decorated wooden chariot is pulled through the streets on the day. It contains the utsava murti of the Lord Shiva. The chariot is decorated with flowers, leaves, plantain, sugarcane, lamps and lights.
Some of the rituals held during the period are Rudra Havan, Sookta Havan, Pavan Havan, Bhootabali, Vrushabha Vahanayantrotsava, Pushparathotsava, Dandabali, Grambali, Choornotsava, Choornabali, Avabhrut, Jalayanotsava, Mahapoornahuti, Ankurarpane, Ankurprasad etc.
Thousands of people arrive to witness the chariot majestically moving through the village.
Gokarna Mahabaleshwar Temple Rathotsav is held on Phalgun Shukla Paksha Dwitiya Tithi or the second day during the waxing phase of moon Phalgun month as per traditional Hindu lunar calendar followed in Karnataka.
The festival begins on Magh Krishna Paksha Ashtami tithi.