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Rangbhari Ekadashi of Kashi


Rangbhari Ekadashi of Kashi Vishwanath, Varanasi

Toady is Falgun Shukla Ekadashi( Eleventh day of Bright fortnight of Falgun month of Indian lunar calander). This is also called Rangbhari Ekadashi. This Ekadashi just falls 4 days before auspicious Holy Festival. ‘Rangabhari’ means ‘Full of Color’ in Hindi. Other Name of this Ekadashi is also Amalaki Ekadashi, as this is the day when Amalaki tree was born from Lord Vishnu’s mouth. This is also the day when Lord Brahamji was born.

Rangabhari Ekadashi holds special importance for people of Varanasi, the beloved city of Lord Shiva. Though Holi is celebrated on Chaitra Krishna Pratipada (First day of Krishna Paksha of Chaitra month), Baba Vishwanath (Lord Shiva’s jyotirling name in Varanasi) plays holi with Mother Parvati on the occasion of Falgun Shukla Ekadashi(11th day of bright fortnight of Falguna month). This is why this is called Rangbhari Ekadashi.

On this day, in front of Baba Vishwanath’s grand procession is carried out starting from the house of Dr Kulpati Tiwari, former Mahant. His House is just next to the temple.

Devotees decorate Bhole Baba and soak him with colors on Rangbhari Ekadashi
Devotees decorate Bhole Baba and soak him with colors on Rangbhari Ekadashi


Bhole Baba, with mother Parvati, rides on the Silver throne and comes out to play holi with devotees. This time Ex-Mahanta Dr.Kulpati Tiwari has prepared 50 kg Abir Gulal to play with baba and his devotees. Rangbhari Ekadashi is today, 19th March.

The Silver throne of Baba Bholenath is 150 years old, the Chal Vigrah (The special Idol for Procession) are both around 150 years old. The Chal Vigrah of Baba and his Silver Throne stay at the residence of former Mahanta Dr. Kukpati Tiwari only. They are taken out with full decoration and fanfare on special occasion only. The procession is carried out of around Vishwanath temple and the Chal Vigrah is kept for ‘Darshan’.

A procession is carried out with Bhole Baba and Mother Parvati on this day
A procession is carried out with Bhole Baba and Mother Parvati on this day

The silver throne is very old now and it has lot some chips leaves from many place due to decay. however this time it is being give a new look. Baba’s procession will come out on the shining throne this time.

On another auspicious occasion, a special decoration is done on the day of Vasant panchami. Vasant Panchami is the day of Tilakotsva of Baba Vishvanath. On that day, special worship is done in Vishwanath temple. Baba Vishwanath’s special maquillage is done.

On the day of baba’s tilkotsav, the work of planting Holika is done across Varanasi region. For Varanasi the Holi is said to be started from this day. Please note the Tilakotsva is the ceremony which is done just before the marriage.

Bhakt and Bhagwan are in same color

After this Mahashivaratri is the date of marriage of Bhole Baba and Mata Parvati. The ‘Baaraat’ (Marriage procession) of Lord Shiva comes out from Mahmrityunjay Mahadev temple. This Barat of Lord Shiva is very special for Varanasi.

Both Hindus and Muslims take part with equal fervor in this event . Among the Shiva and Parvati clad actors one is Hindu is a second Muslim . This procession starts from Mahamrityunjay and goes to Dedhasipul.

Devotees play Holi with Bhole Bhagwan
Devotees play Holi with Bhole Bhagwan

This time Mahashivaratri was on 7th March. After the marriage on Mahashivaratri, Bhole Baba, brings Mother Parvati home on Rangbhari Ekadashi as ‘Gauna’. In Gauna actually the bride actually leaves her father’s place and comes to grooms home for first time. This is why Rangbhari Ekadashi is so important for Varanasi. This is the day when Lord Shiva plays Holi with Mother Parvati.. 

Therefore the timeline of Bhagwan Bhole Shankar’s marriage is as follows:

Shiv ji’s Tilakotsav- Vasant Panchami- Magh Shukl Panchami

Shiva ji’s Vivahr(Marriage)- MahaShivaratri- Falgun Krishna Trayodashi

Gauna of Mata Parvati- Rangbhari Ekadashi- Falgun Shukl Ekadashi

Timeline of Bhagwan Bhole Shankar’s marriage:

Shiv Ji Tilakotsav-Vasant Panchami-Magh Shukl Panchami

Shiva ji Vivah – Mahashivratri-Falgum Krishna Trayodashi

Gauna of Mata Parvati-Rangbhari Ekadashi-Falgun Shukla Ekadashi

Special Arati is carried out on this day
Special Arati is carried out on this day

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