108 Shiva lingams have cropped up on the desert sands of Pushkar in Rajasthan, in the ongoing Hindu holy month of Sharvan.
These are the works of Shiva devotee and well-known sand artist Ajay Rawat.
“We are all offering prayers to Lord Shiva in this holy month. I thought of expressing my devotion differently and made these colourful Shiva lingams,” Rawat said.
The touch of colour on the Shiva lingams is an homage to the colours that are part and parcel of life in the desert state.
108 is a sacred number in Hinduism, a mathematical representation of spiritual completion.
Rawat prayed for the well-being of the nation on the occasion.
People have now taken to visiting these Shiva lingams to offer their own prayers.
The lingam is an abstract representation of Shiva, the Destroyer, one-third of the Hindu Trinity, the other two being Brahma (the Creator) and Vishnu (the Preserver).
In the Hindu calendar, Shravan is marked from Fri 23 July to Sun 22 Aug. It is connected to the arrival of the south-west monsoons.
Hindus fast on Mondays at this time, offering prayers to Shiva, and on Tuesdays, offering prayers to Shiva’s consort Parvati.
The month ends with the festival of Raksha Bandhan, a tribute to the bond between brothers and sisters.
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