Bhubaneswar: The holy Maha Shivrathi is being celebrated in Odisha and all other States amid much religious fervour and serenity today.
The festival, dedicated to Lord Shiva, falls on the 13th night and 14 day of the New Moon in the month of Phalguna every year.
Maha Shivratri, meaning “The Great Night of Shiva”, is celebrated with a belief that Lord Shiva performs “Tandava Nrutya” on this very day. Hindus also celebrate this grand festival as it marks the convergence of the forces of Shiva and Shakti. The duo of Shiv and Shakti is considered to be the epitome of love, power, and togetherness.
This year, the Maha Shivratri festivities, also known as “Jagar” in Odisha began at 3:16 am on March 1 and will end at 1:00 am on March 2.
In Odisha, people, both males and females, go fasting through the day until they see Maha Deepa (Sacred earthen lamp with flame) is raised atop Shiva temples in the night. From the evening, devotees sat lighting Deepa in front of the Shiva temples till the Maha Deep rises atop Dadhinauti. Serenity prevails in all households as family members keep praying the lord. During puja at Shiva temples in the evening, a devotional environment is created as devotees chant “Om Namah Shivaya” amid lights spread by sacred Deepas.
In Bhubaneswar, the ‘Mahadeepa’ of Lord Lingaraj will be raised atop the temple at around 10 pm. Around 32 platoons of police force have been deployed for maintaining law and order and crowd control.Similarly, the rituals at Dhabaleswar Shrine in Cuttack began early for the Jagar Jatra. The doors of the temple were opened much early and the bathing rituals of the Lord were performed as per rituals. Today, Baba Dhabaleswar will wear fragrant flowers to let the devotees have darshan in ’Badasinghara Besha’ As per the schedule, ‘Sankhudi Bhoga’ will be offered to the Lord by noon and in the evening, Shivratri rituals of Baba Dhabaleswar will begin.
Anticipating a huge rush of devotees on the occasion of Maha Shivratri, restrictions have been clamped on the use of Jhula or the hanging bridge and boats. A temporary road has been created to facilitate the devotees to reach the Dhabaleswar temple.A huge rush of devotees has also been witnessed at the famous Lokanath shrine in Puri.
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