Devotees celebrate Shivratri in Kerala

Friday, Feb 24, 2017,13:18 IST By anju A A A

Thiruvananthapuram | Hindu temples dedicated to Lord Shiva witnessed heavy rush across Kerala on the occasion of Maha Shivratri today.

Hundreds of devotees,cutting across age barriers,thronged major Shiva shrines, including the Vadakkunnathan Temple in Thrissur, Maha Deva Temple in Vaikom, Ernakulam Shiva Temple and Sree Kandeswara Temple here since early morning.

Temple authorities, especially Devaswom Boards which manage many major shrines in the state, have made elaborate arrangements in Shiva temples to ensure smooth darshan for devotees.

All arrangements have been put in place on the banks of River Periyar in Aluva in Ernakulam for ‘balitharppanam’, a  ritual in which people pay obeisance to their ancestors.

Performing the ritual on the midnight of Shivratri is considered auspicious by the devotees.

Temple officials have set up over 200 ‘bali taras’ (specially erected platforms) on the banks of the river to perform the ritual and deployed hundreds of priests to assist devotees.

A large number of police personnel were also deployed in the premises to manage the huge crowd.

Cultural programmes are also organised in many temples to mark the festival.