Thousands soak in Shivratri bliss as ‘Mahadeepa’ placed atop Lingaraj temple in Odisha capital

Bhubaneswar: Thousands of devotees thronged Lingaraj temple in Odisha capital here to celebrate Maha Shivratri festival today.

The devotees started thronging the 11th century shrine from the wee hours. The temple authorities made elaborate arrangement for smooth darshan of the presiding deity.

The doors of the temple were thrown open to the devotees at around 3.30 am following the completion of Mangala Alati and Abakash rituals of Lord Lingaraj.

The priests performed the Salala Dhoopa ritual of Lord Lingaraj by 2.30 pm while the Dwiprahara Dhoopa was held by 7 pm.

Many devotees congregated on the temple precincts in the evening to offer Diya (earthen lamps) before Lord Lingaraj.

The priests lifted Mahadeepa atop the temple at 10.15 pm amid religious chants soon after the completion of Sandhya Dhoopa ritual of the presiding deity.

“We were eagerly waiting to witness the lifting of Mahadeepa to the temple top. This is the main attraction of Maha Shivratri festival. The entire temple was decorated with colourful lights for the festival. We got immense pleasure by visiting the shrine on this occasion,” said a devotee.

The Commissionerate Police imposed traffic restrictions around the temple to manage the crowd.

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