Cassian Baliarsingh

The annual lifting of the holy ‘Mahadeepa’ atop the famous Lingaraj Temple was delayed by over 3 hours on the auspicious occasion of Maha Shivratri.

The delay in the conduct of the holy ritual triggered outrage among the devotees who slammed the government and administration for their negligence. Devotees who had been observing the fast had to wait for extra 3 hours for the lifting of the ‘Mahadeepa’ to break their fast.

Bhubaneswar MP, Aparajita Sarangi expressed discontent over the issue and attributed the delay to the Odisha government and administration’s negligence.

“This is so saddening. This should never happen. I have been informed that the ‘Mahadeepa’ lifting was conducted on time as per the ritual last year. But, this year, all the devotees in and around Bhubaneswar were eagerly waiting for the lifting of ‘Mahadeepa’ at Lingaraj Temple,” she said.

She further added, “This is all due to the sheer negligence and failure of the Odisha government and the administration. They should have met with the sevayats and held a discussion. There is nothing in Odisha that cannot be solved with discussion. There is sheer negligence.”

The temple administration had scheduled to lift the ‘Mahadeepa’ at 10 PM. However, the rituals associated with the festival were late by 3 hours and the lifting was conducted at around 1.08 AM late at night.

Devotees finally ended their fast after the lifting of the ‘Mahadeepa’. However, the reason for the delay was not specified.

Meanwhile, the delay in the lifting of the holy 'Mahadeepa' was also reported from the famous Lokanath Temple, Puri and Dhabaleswar Temple, Cuttack.

Questioning the administration, senior Congress leader Sura Routray said, “The Maha Shivratri festival was being celebrated with great pomp and show. It went well till the evening. If the servitors had any issue, what is the government, Chief Secretary, Law Secretary, Endowment Commissioner and Collector, doing? Servitors have submitted several applications, listen to their pleas and act accordingly as soon as possible.”

He further urged the state government to address the problems of servitors  and pass a special bill for servitors of Lingaraj shrine.”

On the other hand, Minister Ashok Chandra Panda earlier visited the Temple and spoke to servitors to address the delay in the rituals.

Speaking to media, Panda said, “They are just blaming the government and administration. The government and administration had a special discussion with servitors since last three days. The delay was due to some unforeseen circumstances during rituals. Blame game will not be of any benefit to anyone.”

On the other hand, Minister Ashok Chandra Panda visited the Temple and spoke to servitors to address the delay in the rituals. Notably, Maha Shivratri is celebrated with great pomp and show at Lingaraj Temple, one of the most famous temples in Odisha.


(Reported by Atulya Bout, OTV)