Rashmi Ranjan

Lord Lingaraj Temple, the famous Shiva shrine in Ekamra Kshetra in Bhubaneswar, is gearing up for Maha Shivratri celebrations scheduled on February 18 this year.

The mahadeepa of Lord Lingaraj will be raised atop the temple at around 10 pm on Maha Shivratri. A decision in this regard was taken during a preparatory meeting held on Tuesday.

Maha Shivratri also known as Jagara Yatra will be celebrated by devotees across Odisha on 18 February.

Meanwhile, the temple administration has made elaborate arrangements and is leaving no stone unturned for the smooth conduct of the rituals during Shivratri.

Expecting a huge footfall of devotees, the Commissionerate Police is planning to put all arrangements in place for the smooth movement of traffic and to ensure a hassle-free darshan for devotees.

“A preparatory meeting was organised ahead of Jagara Yatra of Lord Lingaraj which was attended by the members of nijogs, locals MLA and political leaders and concerned officials. Everyone gave their commitment to the smooth conduct of Lord Lingaraj’s rituals,” said Twin City Police Commissioner Saumendra Priyadarshi.

“We also had a discussion on all necessary arrangements including traffic management and provision of water for devotees, parking and toilet facility,” Priyadarshi added. 

In Dhabaleswar temple in Athagarh Cuttack, the Mahadeepa is scheduled to be raised atop the temple between 1.30 am and 2 am on Maha Shivratri marking an end to the day-long fasting of devotees.

The shrine will be opened for the devotees at 3 am on Maha Shivratri, which falls on February 18.

As many as 15 platoons of police force including seven DSPs and one additional SP will be deployed at Dhabaleswar during the Jagara Jatra for crowd management and to avoid any untoward incident. 

(Reported by Atulya Bout, OTV)