People across Odisha celebrate Mahashivratri | Bhubaneswar News

BHUBANESWAR: Devotees make beeline in front of different Shiva shrines across the state to worship the Lord Shiva on the auspicious day of Mahashivratri. The shrines like Lingaraj temple in Bhubaneswar, Chandrasekhar temple at Kapilash in Dhenkanal, Gupteswar temple in Koraput, Ladu Baba temple in Nayagarh, Dhabaleswar in Athgarh, Akhandalamani in Bhadrak and Loknath in Puri witnessed huge crowd on Friday.
Lingaraj temple, one of the oldest Shiva shrine in the state, attracted thousands of devotees on Friday. The temple was bedecked with different type of flowers. Illumination of colourful lights on the temple was another attraction of the shrine during the evening.
As many as 30 platoons of police force and 100 police officers were deployed at the 11th century shrine for security and smooth darshan. Darshan started from 4am and people paid obeisance to the god by entering from one side of the temple through two queues.
“Previously, people were entering into the temple from two sides, but this time they are entering from one side. There are two lines and people conveniently do the darshan of the lord. Due to widening of roads and enough parking spaces, it has become smooth for the devotees. This time people can get better experience due to ongoing development works around the temple,” said Anup Kumar Sahoo, additional commissioner of police.
The state government’s demolition and beautification works around the temple premises have created space for the devotees. The temple administration and priests have fixed the time of taking the Mahadeep to the top of the temple at around 10 pm. Bhajan Sandhya was organised at the shrine.
In Kapilash, about 26km from Dhenkanal, devotees from different parts of the state throng the Shiva shrine to pay obeisance to the Lord Chandra Sekhar. People were seen climbing through 1,352 steps and through Barabanki in a twisting way to the hill top of Kapilash.
The festival started early in the morning on Friday at the temple, with mangala alati, Surya Puja, dwara Puja and other pujas. After completion of all other pujas in Sodasa Upachar (16 kinds of rituals) ‘Mahadeepa’ ascended to the pinnacle of the temple at about 4.20am.
Hemalata Mallik, a devotee from Kendrapada, who has come along with her other family members said, “The night-long meditation and offer of a ‘Deepa’ (Candle) by a wish signifies to get salvation. Every year, I visit this holy pith to kindle the lamp. I have faith that Lord Chandra Sekhar will pour blessing on me,” she added.
Devotees in large number visited Gupteswar temple in Koraput, Ladu Baba temple in Nayagarh, Akhandalamani in Bhadrak, Dhabaleswar temple in Athagarh and Loknath in Puri to seek blessings of the lord. Jagar yatra is taken place at several Shiva shrines across the state.
In Kendrapada, five-day long Maha Shivratri festival was kicked off with religious fervor and enthusiasm in ancient Mahabinayak temple near Chandikhola of Jajpur district. Hundreds of devotees also worshiped Lord Shiva at the famous Gokarneswar temple at Jaraka in Jajpur district.
(With inputs from Jagadananda Pradhan from Dhenkanal and Ashis Senapati from Kendrapada)

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