Bhubaneswar, Feb 24: Thousands of devotees on Friday thronged various Shiva temples across Odisha to offer prayers on the occasion of Mahashivratri.
People were seen standing in long queues at all Shiva temples to have a holy "darshan" of Lord Shiva.
The major crowd-puller during Mahashivratri are Lingaraj temple of Bhubaneswar, Kapilash temple of Dhenkanal,
Dhabaleswar temple of Cuttack, Hatkeshwar temple of Khordha and Loknath temple of Puri.
The commissionerate police have made elaborate security arrangements at the 11th century shrine Lingaraj temple here.
"Barricades have been put up to facilitate darshan by devotees. While adequate police personnel have been deployed to maintain law and order and traffic management, CCTVs have been installed at strategic locations to keep a close tab on people," said Satyabrat Bhoi, Deputy Commissioner of Police.
The crowd was expected to increase in the evening when the devotees will offer prayer by lighting the oil lamps inside and outside the temple premises till the "Mahadeep" placed atop the temple.
On this occasion, devotees keep day-long fast and break it only after completion of the ritual in Shiva temples.