For the second consecutive year, the annual festival of ‘Bada Mangal’ will not be held at its usual scale in the city.

Hanuman temples in the state capital have decided not to organize festivities on Bada Mangal in view of the second wave of Covid pandemic and safety protocols.

Like last year, devotees will be able to witness live-streaming of the puja organized by various temples.

The Bada Mangal is a festival held on all Tuesdays in the Hindu month of ‘Jyesth’ and is peculiar to Lucknow.

The festival, believed to be 400 years’ old, is mainly celebrated in Lucknow. The ‘Bada Mangal’ has an interesting story behind it.

According to historians, the Hanuman temple in Aliganj was constructed by Nawab Saadat Ali Khan in 1798 when his mother Aliya Begum’s prayers were answered and the Nawab was blessed with a son.

Aliya Begum insisted on building the temple and the Nawab complied.

Nawab Wajid Ali Shah, the last nawab of Avadh, continued the tradition by holding community feasts for Hanuman devotees.

The Aliganj temple has a star and a crescent on the dome and the Bada Mangal festival is a perfect example of Hindu-Muslim unity.

There are over 9,000 big and small Hanuman temples in Lucknow who open their doors at the stroke of midnight and devotees continue to offer prayers for the entire day.

Devotees set up large bhandaras (community kitchen) across the city to distribute food and water.

From halwa-puri, aloo-kachori, chola-chawal, kadhi chawal, chowmein, burgers, sandwiches to juice — the bhandaras have a variety of dishes on the menu.

This year, there are four auspicious Tuesdays – June 1, June 8, June 15 and June 22 – on which Bada Mangal will be celebrated.

Temples will remain closed for devotees on the first Bada Mangal on June 1.

Temple administrations will decide about the remaining Tuesdays later.

“If we go by the district administration rules of allowing five people at a time inside the temple, then also maintenance of Covid protocol will not be easy. Therefore, livestreaming of ‘aarti’ will be done,” said Diwakar Tripathi, secretary of Shri Sankat Mochan Hanuman Ji Trust.