A fervour of spirituality prevailed over Shiva temples across Odisha on Tuesday on the occasion of Maha Shivratri. Devotee rush marked the festival at some of the iconic shrines in the State like the Lingaraj Temple in Bhubaneswar and Puri Loknath while Covid restrictions played spoilsport in the festive mood of people at several other places.
All elaborate arrangements have been put in place to lift the Mahadeepa (grand lamp) atop the Lingaraj temple at 10 pm.
The Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) has issued new guidelines for celebration of the famous festival at the Lingaraj Temple in Bhubaneswar.
As per the laid out rules, the servitors of the temple will perform rituals of the deity by observing Covid appropriate behavior like wearing of masks and ensuring social distancing. Devotees have also been asked to adhere to pandemic guidelines at all times during the event.
Special barricades, crowd control measures and other preparations have been erected 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.
In the temple of Cuttack Dhabaleswar, the authorities have enforced prohibitory orders to deter public congregation at the temple all day long today.
Special arrangements have also been made at Shobhaneswar temple in Niali of Cuttack district for the smooth darshan of devotees amid Covid-19 norms.
“Restrictions on the darshan of devotees were imposed during Shivratri festival in the last two years due to the outbreak of the pandemic. The local administration has allowed the devotees to celebrate the festival with caution this time,” said a local resident while paying obeisance to Baba Lokanath in Puri.
Meanwhile, famous sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik has created a huge sand art of Lord Shiva on Puri sea beach on the occasion of Maha Shivratri festival. He has used as many as 23,436 Rudrakhyas to create the masterpiece.