Bhubaneswar: Thousands of devotees took a holy dip at the Chandrabhaga river here on Saturday morning on the occasion of the holy Magha Saptami festival. They congregated at Tirtha Puskarani (pond) for the holy dip on the auspicious occasion celebrated to mark the birth of the Sun god.
Lord Mahadev is also worshipped on the occasion. The devotees take a holy dip on the seventh day of the new moon of Magha with the belief that it would cleanse their sins and get them rid of skin diseases.
As is the tradition, idols of Lord Tribenishwar of Madhipur, Lord Ishaneshwar of Santhapur and Lord Dakshineshwar Mahadeb were brought in processions to the Chandrabhaga Tirtha. After taking their dips, devotees offered prayers to the deities there. Special pujas were also offered to the rising Sun at Chandrabhaga.
Later, the devotees visited the Sun Temple at Konark.
The Puri district administration deployed 30 platoons of the police force in view of the heavy rush at the Chandrabhaga sea coast. Devotees came in groups from different parts of Puri and adjoining districts and spent the night under temporary tents on the sand bed. They also cooked dinner in earthen pots on chullas in the sand bed. The food is then eaten together on banana leaves and the cooking pots are broken and thrown into the pond as per tradition.