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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:



Along with the undeniable natural beauty, the Kashmir valley has developed a reputation for adventurous activities like trekking, hiking, and river rafting. Kashmir has maintained its charm, allowing us to time-travel into beautiful destinations which make one forget about the stress and worries of life. The hikes in Kashmir offer adventurers to go on a self-discovery trip through nature's lap over the mountains while taking in the breathtaking scenery that surrounds them on their journey. In addition to the hikes, there are many thrilling adventure activities, like rock climbing, rope climbing, etc. Trekking across the region of mountains and lakes will allow you to experience living in the "Paradise on Earth," and you wouldn't want to return to your regular life after that.

The following are some of the finest hiking destinations in Kashmir:

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Pind Daan at Jagannath Ghat, Kolkata.

The Pitru Paksha starts after the Full Moon day, and this day marks the beginning of the waning phase of the Lunar cycle. This event is roughly of 15-day period, and is of great significance. From this day, rituals like Tarpan or Tarpanam and Shradh are carried out to pay respects to dead relatives and ancestors.

It is believed that from the very first day till the last day, the unhappy souls of the deceased return to the Earth to see their family members. So, in order to ensure that the dead attain Moksha, i.e. to get liberation, family members of these souls quench their thirst and satisfy their hunger by performing the Pind Daan, which includes offering food consisting of cooked rice and black sesame seeds. The literal meaning of Pind Daan is the act of satisfying those who no longer exist physically.

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Cubbon Park is a lush green garden at the heart of Bangalore

At the heart of Bangalore city, a large 300-acre space of lush greenery and heritage stands as a symbol of the city's past, present, and future. Cubbon Park is every child's favourite park, every Bangalorean's haven of fresh air, and altogether, the city's pride.

It stands testament to the past, in terms of the diversity of flora it houses. Bangalore traffic in the recent past has grown into a menace, but the stretch between MG Road and Cubbon Park is always a pleasurable place to stop and wait for the signal to turn green. The gust of wind that blows here, and the smell of mud, coupled with floral scents instantly transports citizens to Old Bangalore, where the weather was fine, and the trees loomed over roads with thick canopies that did not even allow rainwater to penetrate. Cubbon Park is also a historical site, and one of the few remaining monuments of colonial heritage in Central Bangalore. It houses many statues and among them, the most famous is that of Queen Victoria, which faces the St. Mark's Square.

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