Maha Shivratri, one of the major festivals of Hindus, is being celebrated with fervour, gaiety across Karnataka. Since the festival remained a low-key affair for two years due to the coronavirus pandemic, people thronged temples in large numbers this time.
The Shiva temples in all parts of the state are decked up for the occasion and special arrangements have been made to facilitate the ritual of jagaran (staying up all night) as part of celebration of the festival.
Greeting the people on the occasion, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said, "I wish that the prayers to Lord Shiva will wipe out pain and grief. It will bring peace and happiness for the people of Karnataka."
Thousands of devotees queued up to get darshan of the famous "Atmalinga" of the Mahabaleshwar temple in the coastal town of Gokarna, known as Kashi of south India. Going by the popular belief that if "Atmalinga" is touched with devotion on the auspicious day of Shivratri, dreams will turn into reality, thousands stood in queue from 2 a.m.
The number of devotees kept on increasing as the day progressed. Since devotees from all over the state arrive in the town of Gokarna, tight police security arrangement has been made and barricades have been set up to control devotees.
People thronged the 65 feet tall Shiva statue in Whitefield locality In Bengaluru. The golden mukhawada (mask) weighing 11 kg has been fixed on the idol Trineshwara temple located in the premises of historical Mysuru Palace. People in the entire north Karnataka region are also celebrating the festival with devotion.