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The festival known as Bada Mangal, which is celebrated in Lucknow, is of great importance for the devotees of Lord Hanuman. The festival starts on the first Tuesday of the Jeth or Jyeshta month as per the Hindu calendar, which is considered very auspicious to worship Lord Hanuman.
This holy festival of worshipping Lord Hanuman goes on for four consecutive Tuesdays of the Jyeshta month, which happen to fall in May-June. This year, Bada Mangal was celebrated on 21st and 28th May. Apart from these dates, Bada Mangal will also be celebrated this month on 4th and 11th June.
Significance Of Bada Mangal
Lord Hanuman is a popular deity in Hinduism. The tradition of worshipping Lord Hanuman during Bada Mangal is not new. In fact, it is around 400 years old. The story behind the festival goes like this.
In the year 1718, the queen Alia Begum had a divine dream in which she was directed to install two Hanuman statues after which she would be blessed with a child. The statues which were found during some construction work in the palace were thus installed and the Hanuman temple of Aliganj was built.
A child was born to the queen who was named as Mangat Rai Firoz Shah. Since then, the special worship of Lord Hanuman started and it still continues to be an auspicious festival for the people in Lucknow. The temple dome has a star and a crescent symbolic to the unity of religions. Worshipping Lord Hanuman on these specific days is believed to grant the devotees a happy life and remove crisis from one's life.
How Is The Sindoor Chola Offered To Lord Hanuman?
There is a specific way of worshipping Lord Hanuman on the days of Bada Mangal. On these days, there is a custom of offering oil and vermilion to Lord Hanuman. A lamp is lit with jasmine oil in front of Lord Hanuman. Before offering vermilion to the idol of Lord Hanuman, the idol is bathed with water and then the offerings for worship are made.
Amidst chanting of mantras, the vermilion is mixed with jasmine oil and put on the idol. Also, sometimes a light layer of ghee is put on the image or idol of the deity and then the vermilion powder is poured on it.
A Festival Of Harmony
The start of the Bada Mangal not only marks the beginning of summer for the people in Lucknow, but also ushers in harmony and festivity as people from the entire city and a few from other places join the celebrations. Though it is specifically celebrated in the Naya Hanuman temple, gradually over the years, the celebrations have extended to all Hanuman temples in and around the city.
It is a common sight to see pandals with the idol or portrait of Lord Hanuman and devotional songs being played while people queueing up to offer their prayers with flowers, incense sticks and sweets. The sweet traditionally is besan ka ladoo. Not only that, pandals or bhandaras are built all over the city which host people walking in, irrespective of their religion, culture and belief.
People are served with prasad, beverages and other Indian delicacies and there are many such stalls put up which offer water and food to the passers-by. The spirit of harmony prevails all over, not only in the city but also in the hearts of the people. Thus, the festival of Bada Mangal is an important part of the culture of the city and its people since history and it still continues to be.