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RELIGIOUS FERVOUR: Thousands of devotees took the route to carry water from river Mahanadi to Lord Lingaraj temple in spite of torrential rain and bad weather in Bhubaneswar on Sunday.
RELIGIOUS FERVOUR: Thousands of devotees took the route to carry water from river Mahanadi to Lord Lingaraj temple in spite of torrential rain and bad weather in Bhubaneswar on Sunday.

Staff Reporter

The famous temple of Lord Shiva attracts lakhs of devotees in the month of Shravan every year

BHUBANESWAR: Braving torrential rains thousands of bol bom pilgrims have started congregating here on Sunday evening to pour holy water in 11th-century-old Lord Lingaraj Temple.

The queues have begun to grow longer around the temple with devotees getting prepared to spend hours together for completing the journey on the auspicious day of Monday. There were bol bom pilgrims all over the roads leading to Lingaraj Temple. Reason behind the sudden rush of devotees can be attributed to solar eclipse that will take place on August 1 and many believe the week consequent to the celestial event is “inauspicious.”

The famous temple of Lord Shiva attracts lakhs of devotees in the month of Shravan every year. And this year was no exception. “I came by train from Berhampur to Cuttack. From Gadgadia ghat of the millennium city, I drew the holy water and now I’m on my way to Lingaraj temple,” Papun Nayak said.

Although the painful barefoot journey had taken out the energy from Suresh Rout from Kendrapara district, he gained strength from his strong faith on the Lord Shiva. Suresh was ready to wait in queue for another 12 hours to have darshan of Lord.

This year participation of the woman pilgrims appeared to have increased compared to previous years. Several women and girls had accompanied their fellow villagers from remote areas of Kendrapara, Jagatsinghpur, Jajpur, Khurda and Nayagarh to this temple city.

Some of the bol bom pilgrims were very experienced in the annual pilgrimage. “For last seven years, I have been undertaking the journey. I am now used to the pain of walking long distance,” Malay Swain from Jagatsinghpur district said.

Ironically there were some devotees who were walking a long distance on behalf of others. Rains that had been lashing the State since Sunday morning failed to deter these devotees to give up their journey in the middle.


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