Thiruvananthapuram: Hindu temples,dedicated to Lord Shiva, witnessed heavy rush on Friday as devotees celebrate Maha Shivratri festival with traditional zeal and religious fervour across Kerala.
Devotees mark the transcendental day by observing ‘orikkal’ (fasting), dedicating the holy leaves of Koovalam plant, and remain awake the whole night chanting ‘Om Nama Shivaya’ mantras.
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.
Hundreds of ‘bali taras’ (specially erected platforms) have been set up on the banks of the river to perform the ritual and a large number of priests have been deployed to assist devotees.
According to reports, the major shrines of Lord Shiva, the Sreekandeswaram Mahadeva Temple, Vadakkunnathan temple in Thrissur and Maha Deva temple in Vaikom, were packed with ardent devotees early morning.