Saturday 1st March 2003 marked the celebration of 'Maha-Shivratri' at the Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Neasden. The day began with the sacred installation of Shiva-Lingas beneath the Mandir dome amidst chanting of Shiva Mahima Stotram by the pious pundits of the Mandir. Every visiting devotee offered billi-patra on the Shiva-Lingas and rudrabhiskek was performed with pouring of sacred water and milk in which the holy rivers of Ganga, Jamuna, Saraswati, Godavari, Kaveri, etc. were invoked. The atmosphere rang with the divine Shiva Panchakshara Stotra.
On this auspicious day, maha-puja and arati were performed in the Haveli in the evening, in which over 400 aspirants participated. Throughout the day, devotees had the opportunity of annakut darshan in which 75 different varieties of 'falahar' items were offered in the shrine of Shiv-Parvati & Ghanshyam Maharaj.
The ice Shiva-Lingam on display at the entrance was a great attraction. Amarnath in India has natural ice Shiva-Lingam and this was a similar replica..
In total, over 8000 devotees participated in the Maha-Shivratri festival that was celebrated from 7a.m. to 9.30p.m. In the special assembly held in the evening, the significance of Shivratri was explained along with the singing of bhajans dedicated to Shiva. Every visiting devotee was given prasad and milk.