Maha Shivratri celebrated across India

Last Updated: Sun, Mar 10, 2013 14:10 hrs

New Delhi, March 10 (IANS) Maha Shivratri was Sunday celebrated across India as millions offered prayers to Lord Shiva and many fasted during the day.

Large crowds began thronging Shiva temples in all towns, cities as well as villages from early in the morning offering flowers, fruits, bel leaves and milk.

By early afternoon, many shops across Delhi ran out of milk.

"Around 8,000 devotees have offered prayers to Bhole Nath (Lord Shiva) and many more will be coming," Ravindra Nagar, head priest at Birla Mandir in the heart of the city, told IANS.

Nagar said the Shivling was bathed with 'Panchamrit', which is made from milk, ghee, curd, honey and sugar.

According to Ramnath Tripathy, a priest at the Shiv Mandir on Pusa Road, prasad made of wheat flour, sugar, ghee and dry fruits along with fresh fruits was distributed to visitors.

As part of tradition, many people fast on Maha Shivratri or remain on a diet of fruits and milk.

"I visited the temple in the morning and bathed the Shivling in milk and curd," said Anumita Sharma, whose family of five observed a fast.

Many temples were set to hold all night prayers, the celebrations ending before dawn Monday.

Shivratri celebrations also took place in all states, particularly at the better known Shiva temples.

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