The faithful thronged temples to offer prayers and observed dawn-to-dusk fast as Mahashivratri was today celebrated across the country with religious fervour.
Lakhs of devotees took a holy dip in the river Ganga in Haridwar and performed puja on the occasion. Long queues of pilgrims were seen outside Shiva temples, including Har Ki Pauri and Daksha Prajapti temples, since early morning.
Elaborate security arrangements were in place in and around the temples as well as bathing ghats in view of a huge rush of pilgrims.
Devotees offered milk and ‘Gangajal’ to the shivlingams at beautifully decorated temples as traditional marriage processions of Lord Shiva were taken out in several cities.
In Kerala, thousands of devotees have thronged the banks of river Periyar to offer prayers for their ancestors on the occasion. Many people offered ‘Tharpanam’ (offerings to the ancestors) after a dip in the river.
The festival celebrates the marriage of lord Shiva to the Goddess Parvati, and holds immense importance in the Hindu religion.