Mysore/Mysuru: Unlike previous years, devotees can see Shivalinga decorated with 11-kg Chinnada Kolaga (Golden Mask) at Sri Trineshwaraswamy Temple at Mysore Palace premises, for two days, stretching from Shivaratri till tonight (9 pm).
Chinnada Kolaga remains the main attraction during Shivaratri, the tradition in practice since the then Maharaja of Mysore Jayachamaraja Wadiyar made the offering to the temple.
Following the birth of his son Srikantadatta Narasimharaja Wadiyar (the 26th titular ruler of Mysore) in the year 1953, the Maharaja donated the mask to the temple in 1954. Since then, it is a tradition in practice to worship the Linga with special pujas by decorating the idol with the mask.
On the eve of the festival on Friday (Feb. 17), the mask was brought from the District Treasury to the temple amid heavy Police security.
After decorating the Linga with mask on Mahashivaratri, the first puja between 4 am and 6 am was performed in the name of Mysore royal family member Pramoda Devi Wadiyar, her son Yaduveer Krishnadatta Chamaraja Wadiyar and daughter-in-law Trishikha Kumari Wadiyar. Later, the temple was opened for devotees at 6 am and was kept open till midnight.
As Mahashivartri is followed by Sunday, the general holiday, District Treasury where the mask will be kept remains closed on the day. Hence, the mask continues to adorn the presiding deity at the temple facilitating the darshana for the devotees till 9 pm today.
Separate barricades have been erected to enable the devotees visit the temple, without any hassles, from Jayamarthanda Gate of the Palace. Arrangements have also been made to distribute prasada to the devotees.
On Monday (Feb. 20) at 11 am, the mask will be taken back from the temple to District Treasury at 11 am.
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