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Mrunal Manmay Dash

Puri: On the occasion of  'Magha Saptami', lakhs of devotees thronged Chandrabhaga beach at Konark in Puri early today morning to take holy dip and offer prayers to the Sun God.

As per the tradition, the presiding deities of Konark, Lord Tribeniswara, Lord Aisaneswara and Lord Dakhineswara were taken in a grand procession to the Tirtha Mandap at Chandrabhaga last night. The deities were then taken to the NAC Bhoga Mandap and later they took their customary bath early in the morning. The devotees then took holy dip at Chandrabhaga river before sunrise and offered their obeisance to the Sun God.

“It is believed that anyone who takes dip in the sea on the day of Magha Saptami reaps virtues of many lifetimes, so we stayed awake all night long to bath early in the morning,” said a devotee.

Another devotee who also happened to be a Sadhu and had come to take the holy dip said, "When the Sun rises, the darkness subsides. Just like Shamba, who was cured of leprosy after dipping himself here on this day, we have come here too to wash away all our sins by taking the holy bath."

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

On the other hand, the district administration had made all arrangements to ensure safety and security of the pilgrims at the beach. The Additional District Magistrate of Puri said, "All the arrangements were made for the three Deities for the smooth conduct of their rituals. Police and ODRAF teams were deployed at the spot to avert any accident."

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