Rashmi Ranjan

Devotees in Odisha broke their Maha Shivratri fast after the Mahadipa was raised atop the Lingaraj temple in Bhubaneswar at 10.20 pm on Tuesday.

Devotees broke their day-long fast after witnessing the Mahadipa (grand lamp) over the temple.

The Jagara Jatra is being celebrated across Shiva shrines in Odisha amid strict Covid-19 restrictions. 

Earlier in the day, devotees thronged famous Shiva temples like Lord Lingaraj temple in Bhubaneswar, Lokanath temple in Puri and Sri Paramahansa Nath temple in Cuttack in large numbers to pay their obscene to the Lord of Gods.  

As per the laid out rules, the servitors of the temple performed rituals of the deity by observing Covid appropriate behavior like wearing of masks and ensuring social distancing. 

Special barricades, crowd control measures and other preparations were made for smooth darshan of devotees at the shrines of Baba Lokanath in Puri, Akhandalamani temple at Aradi in Bhadrak and other Shiva Shrines in Sambalpur amid Covid-19 norms. 

However, Sundargarh district administration has clamped section 144 at Ved Vyas in Rourkela considering the high rush of devotees at the holy place.

Similarly, the Cuttack district administration has enforced prohibitory orders under CrPC Section 144 in and around the Dhabaleswar temple from 5 am today to 7 pm on March 2 to deter public congregation at the temple.

To mark the occasion today, Eminent sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik created a huge sand art of Lord Shiva on the Puri sea beach. He has used as many as 23,436 Rudrakhyas to create the masterpiece.