It goes without saying that Gokama being one of the three recognised famous Kshetras Gokarn, Ramasetu and Kashi, (Banaras) and also one among the ten well-known Bhaskar Kshetras, has come to be considered by Hindus as a famous place of Pilgrimage References to this Kshetra given in different old Puranas testify to its time- honoured greatness and sanctity. The Puranas proclaim that religious ceremonies performed here have a peculiar power to yield immense good result. The restriction usually observed with regard to Dakshinayana Guru Shukrasta, is debarred here. The Kshetra is described to be in point of importance, even greater than Banaras, on account of the western sea, (the Arabian sea) with the waters of a good many holy rivers and teerthas being an addition here.
Gokamasya Mahakashi Vishvanatho Mahabalaha | Kotiteertha Tatraganga Samudramadhikam Phalam||
Of the many festivals that annually take place in honour of Shri Mahabaleshwar those during the 9 days of Mahashivaratri fair, commencing from the 9th day of the darkhalf fortnight in the month of Magha are the grandset.
Pilgrims from several parts of India gather than here in thousands. The celebration of the Tripuradahana festival on the Kartika Poomima day is of next importance in grandour. On this day the Kshetra shines with peculiar beauty on account of diverse festoons, artistic of white powder infront of the houses and rows of lights Kamadahanotsava (on Chaitra Shudha 13) Dadhishikyotsava (on Shravan Vadya 9) Seemollanghanotsava(onAshvina Shuddha 10)Ganga-Vivahotsava (on Ashvina Vadya 14) and Gouri-Vivahotsava (on Kartik Vadya 1) are third- rate festivals moreover that take place on each monday and Poomima day from Kartika Shuddha Pratipada to Vaishakha Vadya Amavasya, Damanotsava (on Chaitra Vadya 14) and New year day festival are fourthrate festivals. Only once in the year during Shivaratri fair (on the 1st of Falguna) takes place the big car procession. The small car is drawn on Kartika Poomima day, on every Amavasya from Kartika to Vaishakha Vadya Amavasya on each successive day from Magha Vadya 11 to 30 and on Makar a Sankramana and Rathasaptami days. There is besides, Jalayanotsava i. e. procession of the deity on water on the nights of the following three days viz. Magha Vadya 14 Falguna Shuddha 2, Kartik Suddha 15 for which four boats are tied together, on which a Mandapa is erected for placing in to the image of Shri Mahabaleshwar, and then there is the procession of the same round Koteshwar, in the Kotiteertha tank. On the banks of the tank are see rows of lights the sight of which together with the exhibition of varities of fireworks then going on much attracts the onlookers and fills them with joy.
The festivals of other deities commence from Kartik shuddha 5 and close on the 10 th. There are moreover a few annual festivals and car processions provided for by the divotees, who have ample scope to provide for festivals car processions and particular worships on their behalf, and perform under the guidance of their Upadhivanta. Purohits different forms of worships such as for example. Panchamrata Fala- panchamrata. Ekadasha Rudra, Shata Rudra, Ati- Rudra and Bilwarchana. Koti Lingarchana and etc., according to their religious inclination and circumstances permit
Mangalam Rajalingay Ligaratnaya Mangalam |
Mangalam Ravanabhujagarvasarvasvaharine ||1|
Dantabalananakrita Pratisthya Mahatmane |
Gokamakshetranathya Shrimaheshaya Mangalam ||2||
Mahabalasamakhyaya Gokameshaya Mangalam ||3||