Bhubaneswar: Lakhs of Devotees thronged to Lingaraj temple to offer prayers and to seek the gracious blessings of Lord Shiva on the occasion of Maha Shivaratri. More than 3 lakhs devotees queue in line to offer prayers at the Lingaraj temple here on Monday. Aarti started soon after the temple door opened at about 3.30 a.m. The priest allowed devotees for ‘Sahan Mela’ or public darshan of the deity from 4 am to 12 am. Around 25 platoons of police were deployed around the temple. NCC cadets sprinkled water on the devotees providing relief from heat. The temple administration supplied water pouches to the devotees providing relief from the scorching heat, said chief executive of the Lingaraj Temple administration Abani Pattanaik.
However in the evening, rituals were running late by two and half hours. Devotees were chanting shlokas and bhajans. On this occasion Brahma Kumari Ishwari school organized a prabachan to spread the actual meaning of Maha Shivaratri.The most auspicious Mahadeepa raise ceremony was conducted at around 12:30 pm and the devotees started reciting the slokas “Om Namah Shivaya”. Vehicular movement was restricted around the Lingaraj temple for the smooth movement of the people to the temple.