The Bhavnath Mahadev temple is an ancient shrine lying alone the Subarnarekha River, on the foot of Mount Girnar The shivlinga here is said to have emerged spontaneously. Several myths and legends associated with it abound since Puranic times. The temple is situated amidst a number of other ancient and holy sites in the lush green Girnar area. Adjacent to the shrine is the popular and holy reservoir, the Mrigi Kund.
The Mahashivratri Fair at the Bhavnath Mahadev temple in Junagadh is a five-day affair that commences on Magh Vad 11 in February/March. Festivities begin when a new flag is hoisted on this temple. The grand mahapuja of Shiva is performed at the temple at midnight on Mahashivratri. As this nocturnal ceremony begins, the ascetics, known as the naga bavas, residing in the valley of Girnar and other parts of the country, form a great procession. Seated on elephants and holding flags, they move round the fair to the accompaniment of conches, tungis and turis the sounds of which reverberate through the air. The procession then enters the temples where the ascetics take part in the ceremonial worship.
Apart from the naga bavas, a large number of saints and spiritual persons to partake in the mahapuja. The pilgrims take a holy dip in the Mrigi Kund, seeking ablution from their sins. It is believed that Lord Shiva himself visits the temple and the Kund on this occasion. The spiritual carnival is unique among the other Mahashivratri celebrations due to its setting against the backdrop of immense natural beauty, and the participation of a large number of ascetics and saints.