Poonam Singh

Ahead of the Magha Saptami, Puri Collector Samarth Verma on Wednesday reviewed the preparation for the holy dip rituals at Chandrabhaga Beach near Konark in Puri district.

Verma inspected the excavation of the sacred pond apart from examining the repair works of Tribeniswara Temple at Madipur, Dakhineswara Temple at Kurujanga and Aisaneswara Temple at Santapur.

In view of the COVID-19 Pandemic, the district administration has issued prohibitory orders to prevent any congregation on the occasion of Magha Saptami on February 7.

As per the tradition, the presiding deities of Konark, Lord Tribeniswara, Lord Aisaneswara and Lord Dakhineswara are taken out on a grand procession to the Tirtha Mandap at Chandrabhaga on the auspicious occasion.

Devotees have been barred from taking dip at the beach in order to avoid any crowd on the beach. However, priests and servitors can take the holy bath after the customary dip of deities in adherence to the COVID protocols .

Notably, on the seventh day of the first half of the ‘Magha’ month, devotees take a dip in Chandrabhaga with the age-old belief that a plunge in the sacred beach would cleanse them of skin diseases and wash away their sins.

According to Hindu mythology, Shamba, the son of Lord Krishna, was cured of leprosy after taking a holy dip at the Chandrabhaga on the seventh day of the bright half of the Hindu month of Magha.

The place where Shamba is said to have meditated and worshipped the Sun God after bathing in the pond for 12 years is considered a sacred spot and devotees believe it has healing properties.

Meanwhile, to restrict the entry of devotees, the district administration will be putting barricades on the roads leading to Konark . Police checking posts will also be keeping a close eye on the movement of people.

(Edited By Suryakant Jena)