Vikash Sharma

All the Shiva temples across Odisha are decked up for the grand Maha Shivratri – the great night of Shiva on Saturday. Since early morning, devotees have started thronging Shiva shrines in different parts of the state to offer prayers to Lord Shiva.

In view of the heavy rush of devotees, temple administrations in the state have made special provisions including mandaps where the devotees can offer their prayers and perform rituals.

In Bhubaneswar, the 'Mahadeepa' of Lord Lingaraj will be raised atop the temple at around 10 pm. Around 32 platoons of police force have been deployed for maintaining law and order and crowd control.

Similarly, the rituals at Dhabaleswar Shrine in Cuttack began early for the Jagar Jatra. The doors of the temple were opened much early and the bathing rituals of the Lord were performed as per rituals. Today, Baba Dhabaleswar will wear fragrant flowers to let the devotees have darshan in ’Badasinghara Besha’ As per the schedule, ‘Sankhudi Bhoga’ will be offered to the Lord by noon and in the evening, Shivratri rituals of Baba Dhabaleswar will begin.

Anticipating a huge rush of devotees on the occasion of Maha Shivratri, restrictions have been clamped on the use of Jhula or the hanging bridge and boats.  A temporary road has been created to facilitate the devotees to reach the Dhabaleswar temple.

A huge rush of devotees has also been witnessed at the famous Lokanath shrine in Puri.

(Reported by OdishaTV Bureau)