Devotees take holy dip in Konark

(image) Bhubaneswar: More than three lakh pilgrims on Thursday took a holy dip at Chandrabhaga, in Konark on the occasion of Magha Saptami.

Lakhs of devotees, including the elderly and children thronged at the famous site for ‘Chandrabhaga Buda’. The belief is that if they worshipped the sun on this day and take a holy dip here it would cleanse them of disease and wash away their sins.

The rituals began at 4: 48 am today by bathing the three deities—Ishaneswar, Dakshineswar and Triveniswar, following which the pilgrims started taking the holy dip.

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

The place where Shambha is said to have meditated and worshipped the sun god after bathing in the river for 12 years has become a sacred spot and devotees believe it has curative properties.

Although the river no longer exists, every year devotees take a bath in a large pond at the site, which is near the Bay of Bengal, and worship the sun god. Mohanty said elaborate security arrangements were made by the district administration along the Chandrabhaga coast.