Maha Shivratri: ‘Mahadeep’ Lifted Atop Bhubaneswar’s Lingaraj Temple Before Time

Bhubaneswar: The Maha Shivratri’s final ritual of lifting the ‘Mahadeep’ atop Lingaraj Temple in the Odisha capital was completed without any untoward incident amid chanting of prayers and slogans by thousands of devotees around 9.35 pm on Thursday.

The Chunara sevayats performed ‘Parikrama’ holding the ‘Mahadeep’ before climbing the temple to place it on ‘Dhadhinauti’ (temple crown).

It took the sevayats around one hour to reach the ‘Dadhinauti’. After they placed the Mahadeep, the entire area resounded with chanting of ‘Hari Bol’, ‘Har Har Mahadev’ and ‘Bom Bom Bhole’ along with the beating of drums, Mridangas and cymbals and blowing of conches. With the final ritual completed, the devotees broke their fast for the day.

The scheduled time for the ritual was 10 pm.

Due to various restrictions clamped due to COVID-19 this year, the rush of the devotees was less compared to previous years. They thronged the temple from early morning and moved in a single queue inside the barricades put up for the occasion.

“As one-way entry has been put in place, there is no extra rush inside the temple,” said an official of temple administration. Elderly people and children were not allowed to enter the shrine.

The entrance to the 12th-century shrine was lit up with decorative lights and also the trees in front of the temple premises. Singha Dwara (Lion Gate) was decorated with colourful flowers brought from Kolkata.

Earlier, the Khurda district administration had directed that nor more than 500 devotees should be allowed to light the holy lamp (jagara) inside the temple. It had also told the temple administration to ensure social distancing among the devotees on the premises. The devotees were not allowed to the sanctum sanctorum for offering puja on the day, but they could have darshan from Ada Katha (area outside the sanctum sanctorum).

As a result of the restrictions, the crowd on the temple premises was relatively less and the devotees were found performing ‘jagara’ adhering to the norms. As there was no restriction on the number of devotees outside the temple to light lamps and witness the rituals, the crowd swelled till the Mahadeep was lifted.

To avoid large crowd in view of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) had prohibited fairs and any congregation of vendors in and around the shrine.

To ensure smooth management of the crowd outside the temple, 34 platoons of police with more than 100 officers in the rank of additional DCP and ACP had been deployed.

Also Read: Admn Nod For 500 Devotees To Light Lamps Inside Lingaraj Temple

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