Tuesday October 24, 2017
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Huge turnout at Gangasagar on Makar Sankranti

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New Delhi: Over 15 lakh devotees across the country and abroad took a holy dip in the sacred Ganga river on the occasion of Makar Sankranti, at Gangasagar in West Bengal. Despite the chilly weather, devotees from across the country and neighbouring nations including Nepal and Bangladesh came to take the holy bath.

The devotees believe that a dip in the sacred river during the Makar Sankranti washes off their sins.

Sagar Island, about 150 km from Kolkata in the South 24 Parganas district, witnessed a massive congregation of people this year. Devotees offered coconuts the famous Kapil Muni temple.

Reportedly over 15 lakh pilgrims took a holy dip here.

Besides floodlights at the ghats, at least, 140 CCTVs and watch towers were set up in and around the Kapil Muni temple to ensure smooth observance of the rituals.

Extra contingent of the police force was deployed to contain any unforeseen circumstances. National Disaster Response Force and Coast Guard were also kept on high alert.

In addition to the stringent security measure, three drones were deployed for air surveillance.

The West Bengal Surface Transport Corporation added extra fleets of barge for smooth transportation of the devotees. Additional trans were also provided for the occasion. (IANS)(Picture courtesy: blogspot.com)

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India celebrates Makar Sankranti

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New Delhi: Makar Sankranti, an Indian festival was celebrated in many parts of India and Nepal. It is a harvest festival which is basically celebrated in the Hindu communities. In India, the states of Bihar, Bengal, Punjab, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu celebrate the festival with great fervor and zeal.

In Tamil Nadu the festival is known as Pongal, in Assam as Bhogali Bihu, in Punjab, as Lohiri, in Gujarat and Rajasthan, as Uttararayan.

Makar Sankranti marks the transition of the sun into the zodiacal sign of Makara (Capricon). It is that one day when the duration of the day and night are of equal durations and after this day, the days become longer and the nights shorter. It also marks the arrival of spring in India. It is one of the few festivals which falls on the same Georgian calendar date every year i.e. 14 January, with few exceptions when it comes on 15 January 2016 being one of them.

Makar Sankranti is a blissful festival celebrated by Hindus. All enthusiasts step out of their houses and enjoy flying kites. Colourful kites fill the sky on the auspicious day of Sankranti. The significance of Makar Sankranti is greater in Maharashtra. People send greeting cards to their friends and relatives. The day is started by offering prayers to various deities. People visit temples to bow their heads in front of supreme power.(Inputs from Purti Kalra)(Image-makarsankranti.co)