Bhubaneswar: Lakhs of devotees thronged Shiva temples across Odisha to celebrate Maha Shivaratri and offer prayers on Wednesday.
Maha Shivaratri known as Jagar in the State is celebrated on the 13th or 14th day of the dark half (Krishna Paksha) of Phalgun (February-March), according to the Hindu calendar.
The daylong religious celebration is observed in a ritualistic way with daylong fasting and offerings prayers.
Devotees chant hymns in praise of Shiva throughout the night till “mahadeepa” is raised atop Shiva temples at around 10 p.m. on the day.
Devotees in large numbers have started visiting several shrines including Lingaraj Temple in Bhubaneswar, Akhandalmani in Bhadrak, Panchalingeswar in Balasore, Chandrasekhar at Kapilas in Dhenkanal, Ladukeshwar in Nayagarh, Loknath in Puri, Dhabaleswar Peeth in Cuttack and Gupteshwar in Koraput.
Odisha police have arranged adequate security measures to ensure smooth ‘darshan’ for devotees in the Shiva shrines.