Devotees stood in long serpentine queues for hours to have darshan of Lord Shiva at the 11th century old Lord Lingaraj temple on the occasion of of Maha Shivaratri on Monday.
From the wee hours , rituals started as per the traditional customs at Lingaraj temple. Braving the rising temperature during the day, devotees from different corners of the State and outside began to arrive at the temple from around 5 pm.
On this occasion of Maha Shivaratri, devotees keep daylong fasts and offer prayers at Shiva temples. Hymns in praise of Shiva are chanted. Many unmarried girls also fast and pray in the hope of getting a good husband
An estimated of more than 2 lakh devotees thronged the temple. At least 25 platoons of police were deployed to control the rush. Vehicular movement were controlled on various routes leading to the temple.
Besides, private security personnel were engaged by the Lingaraj Temple Administration to regulate entry of devotees to sanctum of santorum. Sri Lokanath Temple at Puri witnessed similar rush of devotees.
Maha Shivaratri was celebrated in a grand manner at Kapilas in Dhenkanal district and other Shiva temples in the State.