Huge crowd gathered at Lingaraj Temple on the occasion of Maha Shivaratri
Huge crowd gathered at Lingaraj Temple on the occasion of Maha Shivaratri

Bhubaneswar: Hindu devotees are celebrating the festival of Maha Shivaratri with traditional religious fervour across Odisha today.

On this occasion around lakh of devotees thronged to Lingaraj temple early morning today, soon after special rituals began at about 3.30 am, to seek the blessings of Lord Shiva on the auspicious occasion of ‘Maha Shivaratri’.

The queue of devotees standing outside the Lingaraj temple stretched to over two kilometres at around 8 am a visitor said.

Police made elaborate security arrangements around the temple for the mega religious celebration. More than 25 platoons of police personnel were deployed and vehicular movement was restricted in certain routes leading to the temple.

According to the Hindu calendar, Shivratri is celebrated a day or two before the new moon in the month of Phalgun (February-March).

On this occasion, devotees keep day-long fast and offer prayers at Shiva temples. Raising of the Mahadeep is considered to be the most important ritual of Maha Shivaratri. Devotees break their day-long fast after the completion of the ritual in Shiva temples.