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Devotees throng Shiva temples in state on Shivratri

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Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Feb 27:

Shiva temples across the state wear a festive look today on the auspicious occasion of Shiva Ratri.

The rush of the devotees began early this morning for the darshan of the Lord.

In the state capital, devotees moved along long queues to the sanctum sanctorum of the Lingaraj temple for the sahanamela darshan which began at 4 am after the servitors performed the rituals at 3 am.

To ensure smooth movement of the devotees, barricades have been put up from Singhadwara up to the Aruna Stambha at the main temple.

As decided, the Maha Deepa would be raised at 10 pm.

Elaborate security arrangements have been put in place by the commissionerate police in and around the temple premises.

A total of 16 CCTV cameras have been installed to keep watch on anti-social elements as well as to keep a tab on the crowd.

Besides, 25 platoons of armed police forces, 70 senior police officers and plain-clothed policemen have been deployed around the temple. They would be on duty in three shifts.

“To avoid traffic congestion during the festivity, police have sealed major roads leading to the temple at Dakabangala Chhak, Kharakhia Chhak, Tinimundia Chhak, Kedaragouri Chhak and Electricity Office Chhak since midnight,” said police commissioner Dr Rajendra Sharma.

Reports reaching from major Shiva shrines in the state suggest the rituals of the Lord were going on smoothly.

Thousands of devotees are reported to have thronged Kapilas, Aradi, Gupteswar, Dhabaleswar and other major Shiva shrines in the state.