As the name suggests the deity worshipped during Shivaratri is Lord Shiva. The appeal of Shiva, worshipped in the form of Linga has been strong and persistent among all sections of society. Unlike most of the festivals celebrated during day, Shivaratri is special in the night because Shiva saved the universe from darkness and ignorance.
The 14th day of every month – Krishna Chaturdasi – is called Shivaratri, but theone in the month of Magha is called Maha Shivaratri. It being the greatest of them all. On this day, Lord Shiva drank the great poison to save the universe, marriedGoddess Parvathi and performed Siva Tandava Nritya.
The themes of this festival are ahimsa, satya, compassion and forgiveness. By following these, one should worship Lord Shiva with fasting and Jagarana (keeping awake at night). Fasting should be observed from sunrise to sunrise. On this day, Linga is bathed with panchamruta (mixture of milk, curd, ghee, sugar and honey) and worshipped with Vedic hymns, bael leaves (bhila patre) and flowers.
The next morning – Magha KrishnaChaturdasi (Feb 17) – people perform Rudra Homa in temples and houses. Naivedhyam is also offered to the Lord. Worshipping Lord Shiva could take one to peace and prosperity. On this day, the Lord forgives all sins committed by his devotees. Worship and pray Lord Shiva with devotion and faith, he blesses people for mukti (liberalization) and prosperity.
Bangalore has many Shiva temples to visit during Shivarathri. But the most notable ones with centuries old history are:
This Cave Temple is an example of Indian rock-cut architecture. This 9th century temple is said to have been cut out of a single rock and is also famous for its stone discs in the forecourt. It is one amongst the few temples in Bangalore dedicated to Lord Shiva, the main idol being a Shivalinga. The front of the temple is adorned by a sculptor of Nandi. This temple is near Bull Temple road, Gavipuram, Bangalore.
The Someshwara Temple in Ulsoor, is one the oldest temples of Bangalore in Karnataka. Built during the Chola period, the Someshwara Temple, Bangalore is one of the most striking examples of ancient Indian architecture.
Bhoga Nandeeshwara Temple is a Hindu temple located in Nandi village, near the foot of Nandi Hills is probably most historic Shiva temple to visit during Shivarathri. Constructed during the 9th century AD by Bana Queen Ratnavali, in the Dravidian style of architecture. The original temple was renovated regularly during the successive five dynasties under Chola, Hoysala, Pallava and Vijayanagara kings