Bhubaneswar: Devotees of Lord Shiva thronged to Shiva temples across Odisha today to offer prayers on the occasion of Maha Shivaratri.
All the Shiva shrines including the Lingaraj temple in the capital city drew large crowds with devotees seen standing in snaking queues to offer prayers on the auspicious occasion, as the main door of the 11th century shrine opened in the wee hours of the day.
Elaborate arrangements were made to ensure smooth celebrations at Lingaraj temple.
Police personnel have been deployed in and around the temple to facilitate hassle-free ‘darshan’ by the devotees and to prevent any untoward incident.
Barricades were put up with over a dozen CCTV cameras installed near the Lingaraj 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 said ritual in Shiva temples.