Puri: A huge congregation of crowd turned out on the beaches of Chandrabhaga to take a holy dip in the sea and welcome the rising Sun with prayers on the auspicious occasion of ‘Magha Saptami’ on Saturday.
Thousands of pilgrims took a dip in the sacred waters at Chandrabhaga with the age-old belief that it would cleanse them of skin diseases and wash away their sins.
It is one of the most popular and colourful festivals of Konark which is observed on the seventh day of the waxing phase of the Odia month of Magha. This is a day specifically set aside for the worship of Sun God at Konark where the world-famous Sun Temple, otherwise known as Black Pagoda stands.
Pilgrims congregate in huge numbers mostly from all across Odisha, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh to take the holy dip.
In fact this is the second biggest festival in Odisha, next to the Rath Yatra or Car Festival of Puri.
A big fair is also held at the Khandagiri caves in Bhubaneswar for a period of seven days commencing from Maghasaptami. Known as ‘Khandagiri Mela’ it also attracts footfall of hundreds per day.
Meanwhile, tight security arrangements have been made at Chandrabahaga for the safety and security of the pilgrims.
As many as 30 platoons of forces with NDRF, ODRAF and Fire Services personnel have been deployed to avoid any untoward incident.