Witnessing the holy bath of ‘Shiva Ratri’ at a less known village in Bihar

Simaria is a small village along the river Ganges.  Nestled between Mokama and Barauni, Simaria can be reached by passenger trains that run between these two major junctions. Like other small villages of Bihar, neither any touristy accommodation, nor a restaurant can be found in that village. I happened to visit Simaria last year with my friend Anirban Bannerjee.

It was quite late at night when we got down from the train. None except us was in the station. No villager was awake and the village was completely dark. The situation reminded me the famous poetry of the poet Walter de La Mare, “‘Is there anybody there?’ he said./ But no one descended to the Traveler”. We walked towards the river  and on the way we found none. Few people were there for the next day’s preparation. Somehow we managed to put up in a ‘dharamshala’. 

Next morning, we woke up with a cacophony “bam bhole”, “bhole Baba par karega”, “har har Mahadev”. We freshened up and visited the bathing ghat. We got astonished how the secluded ghat has been transformed to  a crowded fair with devotees. It was the the morning of the auspicious ‘Shiva Ratri’.

This photo story shows the activities of pilgrims in the bathing ghat.

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