Bhubaneswar: Lakhs of devotees thronged to Lingaraj Temple here and kept lighting earthen diyas offering prayers to Lord Shiva till late night on the occasion of Mahashivaratri on Wednesday.
Hindu people observe Shivaratri, otherwise known as Jagar, amid devotion and serenity to appease Lord Shiva. The famous festival is celebrated on Phalguna Krushna Chaturdashi (the 14th day of the dark half of the month of Phalgun), according to the Hindu calendar.
Most of the devotees remain fasting throughout the day and offer bael (wood apple) leaves and Ketaki flowers during the morning hours on the day. During the evening, they offer earthen diyas till late night when Mahadeepa is raised atop temples.
The “Mahadeepa” was raised atop Lingaraj Temple in Bhubaneswar at around 10 pm.
Devotees in large numbers paid darshan at different temple like Lingaraj Temple in Bhubaneswar, Loknath Temple in Puri, Dhabaleswar Peeth in Cuttack, Akhandalmani in Bhadrak, Panchalingeswar in Baleswar, Chandrasekhar at Kapilas in Dhenkanal, Baba Ladukeshwar in Nayagarh and Gupteshwar in Koraput.
Adequate security measures were in place to ensure smooth ‘darshan’ for devotees at the Shiva shrines.
As many as 25 platoons of the police force were deployed at the Lingaraj Temple. Fire vehicles were kept ready as a precautionary measure for controlling possible fire mishaps.