Bhubaneswar: Lakhs of devotees are thronging Shiva shrines across Odisha to offer prayer on the occasion of holy Maha Shivaratri since early morning.
Maha Shiva Ratri, otherwise known as Jagar Yatgra, is observed in a ritualistic way with much serenity to appease Lord Shiva.
Most of the people observe fast on the day till Mahadeepa is raised atop Shiva temples at around 10 pm on the day.
Devotees in large numbers have started visiting Lord Lingaraj Temple and Kapileswar Temple in Bhubaneswar, Baba Loknath Temple in Puri, Dhabaleswar Peeth in Cuttack, Baba Akhandalmani Temple in Bhadrak, Panchalingeswar Temple in Balasore, Chandrasekhar temple at Kapilas in Dhenkanal, Baba Ladukeshwar Temple in Nayagarh, Gupteshwar Temple in Koraput, Somnath Temple in Jagatsinghpur etc.
At Aradi, Baba Akhandalmani gives darshan to devotees in Digambar Besha. People from different places of the State visit the famous temple on the day.
Meanwhile, devotees are moving through barricades, erected for controlling crowds at both south and north gates of the Lingaraj temple in Bhubaneswar.
The Sahana Mela Darshan that began at 3.30 am would continue until 12 noon. The Sahan Mela Darshan would resume at 4 pm, according to reports.
According to the administrator of the temple management Manoranjan Mohanty, Mahadeepa will be raised atop the 11th Century at 10 pm.
As many as 25 platoons of the police force have been deployed for smooth darshan of the lord. Fire vehicles have been kept ready as a precautionary measure for any possible incident.