Pradeep Pattanayak

Thousands of devotees broke their day-long fast after the holy Mahadipa was lifted atop the Lingaraj temple in Bhubaneswar at around 10pm on Friday amid chants of ‘Om Namah Shivaya’ and ‘Har Har Mahadev’. 

Unlike last year, this year the rituals were held almost in time. After the Bedha Parikrama rituals wherein servitors move around the temple, the holy lamp was lit and then the servitors carrying the lamp climbed atop the majestic temple. They put the lamp atop the temple at around 10.15 pm. With this, the devotees broke their day-long fast.  

Last year, the much-awaited ritual got delayed by three hours and the Mahadipa was lifted at 1.08 am.  

The festival was observed in all Shiva shrines across the state with religious fervour. 

Earlier in the day, hundreds of devotees thronged the famous Shiva shrines across the state including Lord Lingaraj temple in Bhubaneswar, Lokanath temple in Puri, Akhandalamani temple at Aradi in Bhadrak, Kapilash temple in Dhenkanal, Sri Paramahansa Nath temple in Cuttack, Ladu Baba temple in Nayagarh and other prominent shrines to offer worship to Lord Shiva.   

All the temple authorities had made elaborate arrangements like putting up barricades for smooth darshan of devotees at the shrines. The shrines were beautifully decorated and illuminated. At some temples, bhajan programmes were also organised.

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