Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Puri, Feb 14:
A sea of humanity assembled at Chandrabhaga beach near Konark in Odisha’s Puri district to take holy dip and offer prayers to Sun God on the occasion of Magha Saptami today.
Pilgrims make a beeline to Konark every year on the Magha Sukla Saptami to celebrate the birth of the Sun God. When the Sun has returned on its northern course, they assemble before sunrise to take bathe in the sacred Chandrabhaga river and in the nearby sea after having a glimpse of it.
The devotees take a holy dip on the seventh day of the new moon of Magha with an age-old belief that it would cleanse their sins and get them rid of skin diseases.
As per tradition, the devotees on Saturday night took the idols of Lord Trivenishwar, Lord Ishaneswar and Lord Dakhineswar from the Sun Temple to the snana mandap at the beach in a huge procession.
They performed the ‘pinda daan’ along the beach in the night to propitiate their ancestors and seek fulfilment of their wishes. Later, they took the holy dip after the servitors performed the bathing rituals of the Lords.
The district administration had made elaborate security arrangements for the smooth conduct of the festival. As many as 30 platoons of police force was deployed at Chandrabhaga to streamline the activities. Besides, two watch towers were also erected to keep a watch on the mischief mongers.
The festival concluded peacefully with no untoward incident.