Bhubaneswar: Thousands of devotees flocked to Lingaraj Temple in Odisha capital on Friday evening on the occasion of Mahashivratri to witness the lifting of the ‘Mahadeepa’, which was raised atop the 11th century shrine around 9.45 PM.
It was lifted 15 minutes earlier than the scheduled time. It is only after the ‘Mahadeepa’ is placed atop the temple that devotees break their daylong fast.
Earlier in the evening, the devotees took turns to enter the sanctum sanctorum to make offerings to Lord Shiva. For smooth crowd management, a 200-metre long temporary barricade was put up on the path leading to the Singha Dwara.
The temple was also decked up with 20 varieties of flowers worth Rs 15 lakh on the occasion. The devotees, who couldn’t make it to the inside of the temple, were allowed to light earthen lamps outside the shrine for the first time this year.
The Commissionerate Police had deployed 30 platoons of police force along with 100 officers and issued a traffic advisory for smooth flow of vehicles. The temple administration ensured hustle-free and timely conduct of all rituals during the festival.