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Maha Shivaratri: Odisha dips in devotion with Covid caution

Bhubaneswar: The auspicious festival of Maha Shivaratri is being celebrated across Shiva shrines in Odisha amid strict Covid-19 restrictions.

According to reports, devotees are thronging famous Shiva temples like Lord Lingaraj temple in Bhubaneswar, Lokanath temple in Puri under strict Covid protocols while pandemic restrictions have been enforced at many other shrines in the State.

As per the arrangements, the ‘Mahadipa’ will be raised atop the Lingaraj temple at 10 pm. Similarly the ritual will be followed at Loknath temple at 4 am.

Strict Covid-19 guidelines have been issued by the state government in view of Covid-19 pandemic. There are restrictions inside and outside the temple premises.

Section 144 CrPC has been implemented in Baba Akhandalmani Pitha in Bhadrak and Dhabaleswar Pitha in Cuttack to restrict huge congregation of people. Devotees will be deprived of darshans in these shrines because of the restrictions imposed by the respective district administrations.

However, the Jagara Yatra rituals will be observed at these shrines sans devotees. Mahadipa will be lifted atop Dhabaleswar temple at 1 pm and the famous Mandua Prasad will be offered to the Lord as per the tradition.

Outstation devotees have been restricted to visit Kapilash in Dhenkanal on the occasion of the holy festival. Devotees, who belong to the district can enter the temple by producing Covid-19 negative reports. Mahadipa will be raised atop the temple at 4.30 am.

Moreover, the State government has also directed Collectors and Municipal Commissioners to take stringent action against persons violating the Covid-19 guidelines under the provisions of the Disaster Management Act, 2005 and other relevant laws.

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