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Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Bhubaneswar: The auspicious festival of Maha Shivaratri is being celebrated across Shiva shrines in Odisha amid strict Covid-19 restrictions.

According to reports, devotees are thronging famous Shiva temples like Lord Lingaraj temple in Bhubaneswar, Lokanath temple in Puri under strict Covid protocols while pandemic restrictions have been enforced at many other shrines in the State.

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As per the arrangements, the ‘Mahadipa’ will be raised atop the Lingaraj temple at 10 pm. Similarly the ritual will be followed at Loknath temple at 4 am.

Strict Covid-19 guidelines have been issued by the state government in view of Covid-19 pandemic. There are restrictions inside and outside the temple premises.

Section 144 has been implemented in Baba Akhandalmani Pitha in Bhadrak and Dhabaleswar Pitha in Cuttack to restrict huge congregation of people. Devotees will be deprived of darshans in these shrines because of the restrictions imposed by the respective district administrations.

However, the Jagara Yatra rituals will be observed at these shrines sans devotees. Mahadipa will be lifted atop Dhabaleswar temple at 1 pm and the famous Mandua Prasad will be offered to the Lord as per the tradition.

Outstation devotees have been restricted to visit Kapilash in Dhenkanal on the occasion of the holy festival. Devotees, who belong to the district can enter the temple by producing Covid-19 negative reports. Mahadipa will be raised atop the temple at 4.30 am.

Moreover, the State government has also directed Collectors and Municipal Commissioners to take stringent action against persons violating the Covid-19 guidelines under the provisions of the Disaster Management Act, 2005 and other relevant laws.

Here is a look at various Shiva shrines across the State on the occasion of the holy festival.

[caption id="attachment_525220" align="aligncenter" width="750"]Aradi-2 Devotees have darshan of Lord Akhandalamani in Aradi[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_525224" align="aligncenter" width="750"]Aradi Servitors perform rituals at Akhandalamani temple in Aradi[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_525226" align="aligncenter" width="750"]Lokanatha temple Devotees throng Lokanath temple in Puri[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_525228" align="aligncenter" width="750"]Paramahansa Temple Devotees throng Paramahansa temple in Cuttack[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_525231" align="aligncenter" width="750"]Dhabaleswar Pitha Dhabaleswar Pitha in Cuttack sans devotees[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_525233" align="aligncenter" width="750"]Dhabaleswar temple Servitors perform rituals at Dhabaleswar temple in Cuttack[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_525235" align="aligncenter" width="750"]Kapilash Temple Kapilash temple in Dhenkanal sans devotees[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_525237" align="aligncenter" width="750"]Devotees Devotees worship Lord Shiva in Cuttack[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_525239" align="aligncenter" width="750"]Balasore Devotees throng a temple in Balasore[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_525243" align="aligncenter" width="750"]Lord Lingaraj Devotees stand in queue to have darshan of Lord Lingaraj in Bhubaneswar[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_525245" align="aligncenter" width="750"]Nandi Devotee offers prayer to Nandi at Akhandalamani temple in Aradi[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_525247" align="aligncenter" width="750"]Diya Devotees lit diya at a temple in Balasore[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_525249" align="aligncenter" width="640"]Dipa Diya lit at Dhabaleswar Pitha in Cuttack[/caption]

(Edited by Suryakant Jena)

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