Bhubaneswar: Enthusiastic Lord Shiva devotees thronged temples across Odisha today to offer prayers on the occasion of Maha Shivratri.
All the Shiva shrines including the ancient Lingaraj temple in the state capital drew large crowds since the early hours on the auspicious occasion.
Elaborate arrangements were made to ensure smooth celebrations at Lingaraj temple which was decorated with flowers and colourful blinking lights.
More than 600 police personnel have been deployed in and around the 11th century shrine to facilitate hassle-free `darshan` by the devotees and to prevent any untoward incident, a senior police official said.
Barricades were put up with over a dozen CCTV cameras installed near the Lingaraj temple.
The main door of the historic temple opened in the wee hours for the devotees who lined up inside the shrine to offer puja, temple administration officials said.
Some `Kawarias` were also seen offering holy water of different rivers to Lord Shiva.
The day witnessed four special pujas and rituals at different times at the Shiva shrines.
Elsewhere in the state, devotees offered pujas at shrines including prominent temples at Kapilas (Dhenkanal), Aradi (Bhadrak), Harishankar (Bolangir), Dhabaleswar (Cuttack), Gokarneswar (Ganjam) and Sri Loknath (Puri) with religious fervour.