Theweekendleader

Three lakh devotees take dip at Gangasagar

Sagar Island (West Bengal)

14-January-2013

About three lakh devotees took a holy dip in the Ganges on the occasion of Makar Sankranti Monday at this island considered auspicious by Hindus.

"Around three lakh devotees have taken the holy dip so far. More than four lakh pilgrims are here for the occasion. Nothing untoward has fortunately occurred," South 24 Parganas district magistrate N.S. Nigam said.

Braving chilly weather, the devotees began taking the dip at the confluence of the river with the Bay of Bengal, known as Gangasagar, from the early hours Monday.

Sagar Island, about 150 km from Kolkata in South 24 Parganas district, sees a massive gathering of people every Makar Sankranti, celebrated each year on Jan 14. Offerings of coconuts are made at the Kapil Muni temple here.

The devout believe that a single dip in the sacred water at this time washes off sins of a lifetime.

Several state ministers, including Public Health Engineering Minister Subrata Mukherjee, are camping on the island to supervise arrangements. - IANS