As air quality in Uttar Pradesh deteriorates, priests at a temple in Varanasi covered a ''shivling'' with a protective mask.
Priests at the Tarkeshwar Mahadev Temple in Varanasi covered "shivling" with a blue mask as air pollution levels rose.
The Air Quality Index peaked in Varanasi was 226 today, which falls under the poor category.
"The air is very polluted in the city. To save Bhole Baba from this poisonous air, we had to put on the mask. We believe if he is safe, we will also remain safe," a devotee told news agency ANI.
"We need to protect our gods from bad air quality. Just like we make them wear sweaters in the winters and install air conditioners in the summer, we have put masks on idols to protect them from bad air quality," Sandeep Mishra, the priest told ANI.
He added that the people in Varanasi are facing a host of problems due to the increase in air pollution levels.
"The condition is so bad that there are no beds in the city hospital for medical treatment," he added.
He also appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to take stern action to combat the menace of air pollution and termed the air pollution.