Dehradun: Shiva temples across Uttarakhand on Tuesday echoed with chants of 'Har Har Mahadev' as devotees turned up in large numbers to pay obeisance to the deity on Maha Shivratri.
Enthusiastic crowds were seen taking a holy dip in the Ganga at Har Ki Pauri in Haridwar.
People awoke to the mixed sound of bells and chanting of hymns as the devout thronged the temples since the wee hours to offer prayers for the occasion which celebrates the marriage of Shiva and Parvati.
Long queues of devotees, the young and old alike, were seen outside the major Shiva temples in Dehradun decked up especially for the occasion.
Security was elaborate around famous Shiva temples in the city including Tapkeshwar Mahadev Mandir, Maldevta, Raipur Shiv Mandir, Pipaleshwar Mahadev Mandir and Prakasheshwar Mahadev Mandir on Dehradun-Mussoorie road.
Shiva 'bhajans' resonated in the temples even as many observed a daylong fast to mark the festival celebrated with remarkable gusto in the whole of north India especially Uttarakhand also called Devbhoomi (the abode of Gods) where the char dham, including Kedarnath, is located.
Special prayers were held at the Omkareshwar Mandir in Ukhimath where a symbol of the Kedarnath 'joyotirlinga' is worshipped during the lord's winter sojourn.
Thousands of devotees took the ritual bath at Har Ki Pauri ghat along the banks of the Ganga at Haridwar on the occasion.
A bath in the holy river on Maha Shivratri has special religious significance.