Patna: City temples, especially those dedicated to Lord Shiva, have been decked up for the first ‘Somvari’ of the month of Shrawan falling on Monday. Not only have the temples premises been cleaned but multicoloured lights and flowers have been put up, adding to their beauty. There was also rush in markets and people were busy doing last-minute shopping for the puja.At least 30,000 devotees are expected at the Shiva temple on Boring Road crossing on Monday, said Ravikant Kumar Trivedi, caretaker of the temple. “We have done most of the preparations and on Monday there would be shringar, special aarti and rudrabhishek,” he said.

Mukesh Pandey, a devotee present at the temple, said, “On every Monday of Shrawan, there is a long queue of devotees from morning till night outside the temple here.”

Another Lord Shiva devotee Swetima Tiwari said, “I come to Shiva temple every day for at least five minutes because I have full faith in the Lord. There was an incident in my life and the Lord helped me come out of it. It is but natural that I would do darshan on all the Somvari.”

Makeshift stalls outside the temple premises were ready with the stock of various puja items. Ravi Shankar Malakar, owner of one such makeshift stall, said, “We have stocked flowers, belpatra, dhatura, mandar mala and bhang in sufficient quantity.” Normal marigold garland was available for Rs 20 per piece at his shop, mandar garland for Rs 10 per piece, a bundle of 11 bel leaves for Rs 5, dhatura for Rs 5 each and a small packet of bhang for Rs 5.

Women, too, were busy buying the necessary puja items. Rita Sharma (39), a resident of Khagaul, said, “I am going to buy a green saree for myself, besides flowers and prasad.” Rita also said she would fast on all the ‘Somvaris’.

“I have been fasting since I was in class V. Before marriage, I used to fast with a wish to get an ideal husband and now I am fasting for the well-being of my family. It is believed that Lord Shiva fulfils all the wishes of those who do ‘Somvari’,” she said.

Somvari vrat holds immense importance during Shrawan and is observed by unmarried girls, women as well as men. Devotees also recite or listen to Somvar Vrat Katha.