Bhubaneswar: Rituals at the Lingaraj Temple was halted for some time after a Russian was spotted inside the sanctum sanctorum on Tuesday.

A Russian national who had adopted a Hindu name Sundar Gopal Das entered into the temple along with some touirists from West Bengal.

The priests opposed his presence there and was handed over by them to temple administration, who in turn sent him to the police, temple executive officer Abanikanta Patnaik said.

The temple rituals were delayed by four hours due to the intrusion. Later the temple was ‘purified’ and the ‘Mahasnan’ ritual of the deity Lord Shiva was held as per tradition.