Odishatv Bureau

On the first Monday of the holy month of Shravan (Sawan), devotees in large numbers thronged Shiva shrines across Odisha since the wee hours. The devotees offered milk, water and 'bel' leaves to the almighty on the auspicious occasion.

Kanwariyas also thronged the shrines in large numbers to pour holy water on Shiva Lingas. As per the belief, wishes get fulfilled by offering prayers to Lord Shiva on Shravan Somvars. Devotees also observed fast to seek blessings of the god.

Meanwhile, the administrative officials of different temples made necessary arrangements to ensure smooth movement of the devotees amid the surge in Covid-19 cases in the State.

Every year during this auspicious month, devotees visit Lingaraj temple in Bhubaneswar, Lokanath temple in Puri, Dhabaleswar temple in Athagarh, Kapilash temple in Dhenkanal, Gupteswar temple in Koraput and Balangir's Harishankar temple among others to seek blessings of the Lord.

Though Lord Shiva is worshipped on Mondays throughout the year, offering prayers to the Lord on the Mondays during this particular month of Shravan is considered highly significant and auspicious.

This is the first time after two years. kanwariyas have been allowed to take out Bol Bom procession to Shiva shrines as part of the Shravan Somvar rituals due to Covid restrictions. 

On the other hand, adequate police and administrative arrangements have been put in place to ensure smooth darshan of devotees at major Shiva shrines across the state. 

"Permission for Jalabhisekh (offering of water) on Lord Dhabaleswar has been allowed this season after two years of restrictions which has relieved anxious devotees. Every year on this special occasion, Lord Dhabaleswar is decorated in Bada Singhar besha. Darshan was allowed since 3 am today amid strict compliance of Covid guidelines," said Ajay Patri, servitor at Lord Dhabaleswar peeth in Cuttack. 

A devotee visiting Koraput's famous Gupteswar peeth said, "We are extremely happy and fortunate for being able to come to this holy place and offer water on Mahadev."