Mysuru/ Chamarajanagar: Mahashivaratri was celebrated with all devotion, festive and religious fervour across the twin districts yesterday.
All Shiva temples were crowded with devotees who lined up to pay their obeisance. Ardent devotees observed day-long fasting and were awake all night (Jaagarane).
Special pujas began at all Temples from early morning which went on through out the night. Serpentine queues were witnessed at almost all the temples including Trinayaneshwara Swamy Temple at Mysore Palace premises, Mahabaleshwara Temple atop Chamundi Hill, Sri Ganapathy Sachchidananda Ashrama, Kamakameshwari Temple and 108 Shivalinga Temple at Gurukula on Ramanuja Road, Visveshwara Temple at Old Agrahara, Mahadeshwara Temple on Lingambudhi Road, Prasanna Nanjundeshwara Temple, Bogadi Nagalingeshwara Temple, all Bairaveshwara, Mahadeshwara, Maheshwara Temples and Siddeshwara Temple at Uttanahalli, Chandramouleshwara Temple near Mathrumandali Circle, Shivananda Jnanalaya on JLB Road, Mukkanneshwara Temple on Ashoka Road and others.
Suttur Mutt branch at the foot of Chamundi Hill, Kuderu Mutt, Hosamutt and other Mutts had organised special pujas and rituals as part of the festival.
Trinayaneshwara Swamy Temple: Special puja which began from 3.30 am at Sri Trinayaneshwara Swamy Temple in the Palace premises continued till 12 midnight. The presiding deity was adorned with golden mask (Chinnada Kolaga) to mark the occasion.
The Muzrai Department had put up pendal at the Palace premises, made arrangements for distribution of prasadam and drinking water facilities for devotees. Prasadam was tested by officials of the Department before serving to devotees, according to Muzrai Department Tahsildar Yathiraju.
Suttur Mutt: Suttur Mutt Seer Sri Shivaratri Deshikendra Swamiji also held various pujas at the Mutt premises and later JSS students participated in various cultural programmes.
Sri Ganapathy Sachchidananda Ashrama: Various religious programmes including Maha Ganapati Homa, Rudra Homa and mass prayers were held under the guidance of Sri Ganapathy Swamiji at the Ashrama premises on Ooty Road. The Ashrama provided an opportunity for the devotees to perform abhisheka to the Shivalinga till late night. Hundreds of devotees chanted hymns, rudraparayana and stayed awake throughout the night. The American diamond-studded crown with golden mask that adorned the Shivalinga, was the major attraction of this year celebrations.
Nanjangud: Meanwhile, a large number of devotees from different parts of the State thronged Sri Srikanteshwaraswamy Temple in Nanjangud which is considered as Dakshina Kashi. After taking holy dip in River Kapila, the devotees took darshan of Lord Nanjundeshwara, the presiding deity after standing in long queues braving scorching sun. Temple Administration had also organised night-long cultural programmes.
Agastheswaraswamy Temple: Special pujas were also held at Agastheshwaraswamy Temple at Triveni Sangam in T. Narasipur town. Hundreds of devotees took holy dip at Triveni Sangam, the confluence of Cauvery, Kapila and mythical Spatika Sarovara.
M.M. Hills: Lakhs of devotees offered special prayers at Male Mahadeshwara Swamy Temple atop M.M. Hills in Chamarajanagar district and participated in religious programmes which were conducted all through the night. Car Festival was organised where the chariot carrying deity was pulled by devotees.
Bus facility: The Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) had arranged special buses to M.M. Hills and Nanjangud for the occasion.
Police Security: To prevent untoward incidents and ensure peaceful conduct of Shivaratri, city Police had deployed Police personnel for security at all the Temples.