Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Feb 24:

The auspicious Mahashivratri is being celebrated with devotional fervor across Odisha today.

Thousands of people were seen standing in a long queue in the barricades in all the Shiv temples in the early morning to have holy darshan of Lord Shiv on the occasion of Mahashivratri, popularly known as Jagara.

The entire atmosphere is enchanted with Shiv Panchakshari mantra and Maha Mrityunjaya mantra.

The devotees thronged the Ekamra Kshetra to offer prayers and darshan of Lord Shiv on the holy occasion. People were seen in beeline in the century-old Lingaraj temple and the temples adjacent to it.

According to sources, the Mahadeep of Lord Lingaraj is expected to be placed atop the temple crown at around 10 pm in Lingaraj temple. The schedule is approximately similar in all the temples. The crowd will gradually grow in the evening when the devotees will offer prayer by lighting the diyas inside and outside the temple premises till the Mahadeep placed atop the temple.

In view of the huge crowd, the security has been beefed up in Ekamra Kshetra with installation of CCTV cameras and making tight barricades for smooth conduct of the holy festival.

Barricades have been put up to facilitate darshan by devotees. While adequate police personnel have been deployed to maintain law and order and traffic management, CCTVs have been installed at strategic locations to keep a close tab on people,” said Satyabrat Bhoi, Deputy Commissioner of Police.

However, the rituals of Lord Shiv are likely to be delayed in Lingaraj temple this time.

The crowd was also witnessed in famous shrines including Kapilash, Aradi, Loknath, Hari Shankar, Gupteswar, Ladookeswar.