Plan your Pilgrimage 2020 on this Mahashivratri


Celebrated in the twelfth month of the Hindu lunar calendar, Phalgun, the holy festival of Mahashivratri, which celebrates the union of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati, falls on a Friday this year. The Mahashivratri long weekend comes as a welcome bonus. There are many who merely want to soak in the festive vibe by travelling. While the countdown for the festival picks up momentum, a vast majority of people plan their pilgrimage to popular and auspicious Shiva temples and shrines known as ‘jyotirlingas’; the 12 jytorilingas are believed to be self-born.

Thomas Cook India Limited (TCIL) brings to you the top must-visit spiritual destinations for the Mahashivratri long weekend.

Somnath Darshan this Mahashivratri

Undertaking the iconic and holy Somnath Yatra has to be the most sought after spiritual milestone for any travel-lover, including devout Hindus especially during the long Mahashivratri weekend. The magnificent Somnath Temple situated right next to the Arabian Sea and known for its opulent Chalukyan architecture is believed to be the first Jyotirlinga. This holy and sacred spot holds great significance for all devotees despite being repeatedly ransacked by invaders throughout history. Apart from soaking its scenic beauty, a lot of devotees immerse in the peace and calm by the shore and also there’s a lot to learn and experience the rich history and architecture of the place. Thomas Cook India has carefully designed hassle-free Somnath Tourism Packages by land, air and rail which takes care of comfortable accommodation and above, sight-seeing and spiritual fulfilment among other things.

Seek and explore the 5 Jyotirlingas in Maharashtra

The 3-day long Mahashivratri weekend is just the perfect opportunity for the spiritually inclined traveller to cover the 5 jyotirlingas in Maharashtra – Trimbakeshwar, Grishneshwar, Bhimashankar, Aundha Nagnath and Parli Vaijnath. These jyotirlings are situated close to Nashik, Pune and Aurangabad and are easily accessible by air, road and rail. They have deep religious significance for every devout Hindu who comes from far and wide to take part in the annual Mahashivratri fair.

Shivbhakti in Haridwar – Rishikesh-Varanasi

The Prajapati Daksha Mahadev Mandir in the Kankhal area of Haridwar has a Shakti-Sthal which is thronged by hundreds of devotees on Mahashivratri. They also go the extra mile by visiting the Neel Kanth Mahadev temple atop the mountain forest of Rishikesh for a euphoric Mahashivratri experience. Devotees make it a point to visit the holy Kashi Vishwanath temple at Varanasi and culminate at the Tilbhandeshwar temple where the customary bhaang is partaken.

Find the inner Shiva in Srisailam and Srikalahasti

Popularly known as the Kailash of the South, the Mallikarjuna Jyotirlinga temple in Srisailam on the banks of the river Krishna is unquestionably very popular with Shiva devotees. Legend has it that Lord Shiva performed the renowned Tandava dance here. The lingam is traditionally worshipped with the offering of Jasmine flowers, known as Mallika in the local language. Srisailam is easily reachable by road and rail from all nearby towns. This Mahashivratri, witness the unparalleled grand celebrations at Srikalahasteeswara temple at Srikalahasti where celebrations go on for 13 days.

Rameswaram- Thanjavur – Kanchi Kailashnathur

Known as ‘Varanasi of the South’, the Rameswaram Jyotirlinga in Madurai is known for its beautiful architecture, decorated corridors and 36 theerthams. Very well-connected by air, road and rail to all major South Indian cities, legend has it that Lord Ram worshipped this revered Shiva shrine after defeating the Lankan king, Ravan. The Shiva temple at Thanjavur is an architectural marvel built by Raja Chola 1. People especially throng this temple on Mahashivratri to seek the divine grace and blessings of Rajarajeshwara – the King of the World – Lord Shiva. The devout who visit the centuries old temple at Kanchi Kailashnathar built by the Pallava rulers believe that circumambulation of the temple frees one from the cycle of life and death.

Explore the divinity of Shiva in Madhya Pradesh

The Omkareshwar temple in Khandwa, the Mahakaleshwar temple in the historical town of Ujjain and the Matangeshwar temple at the ancient town of Khajuraho are the three holy shrines dedicated to Lord Shiva. Pilgrims from all over the country flock to these places during Mahashivratri resulting in serpentine queues. The celebrations go on for 9 days and the temples are decorated in a grand manner with flowers. For a truly divine and immersive experience, one should take a long weekend trip to these temples this Mahashivratri by looking for one of these neatly customised packages by Thomas Cook India Limited.

For those looking for a longer and dedicated Teerth, now is the time to book your life time journey to the Kailash Manasarovar, the Chardham of the Devbhoomi Uttarakhand and/or Shri Amarnath.

Head over to Thomas Cook India’s website ( to join the Pilgrimage Group Yatras or get a private custom one.