Konark, February 6, Abhijit Saha: Today morning at least three lakh devotees offered prayers to the Sun God after following a mass ritual bath here at Konark which is a pilgrimage town in Odisha on the occasion of Magha Saptami. This place is 65 kms away from the capital city Bhubaneswar.
A large number of people including women, children and elderly people participated to take the holy bathe. According to Hindu Mythology, legend Sambha the son of God Krishna was cured of the leprosy disease after taking a bathe in the river Chandrabhaga on the seventh day of the Hindu month Magha.
Ritual bathing started early morning near the Bay of Bengal. On this occasion devotees take a bathe in the seaside of river Chandrabhaga to get rid of skin diseases and wash away their sins.
Once the river flowed through the boundaries of The Sun Temple at Konark towards the Bay of Bengal but presently it doesn’t exist. But still devotees come here and bathe in a large pond at the tank site of River Chandrabhaga which is one km away from the Sun Temple.
The SP of Puri Anup Kumar Sahoo said that they held a series of preparatory meetings for the smooth conduct of the annual ritual. And have not received any threat from any revolutionary group. He also said that they will also strengthen security at the Jagannath Temple in Puri since the pilgrims will head for the Temple after completing the rituals near Chandrabhaga River.
Thousands of policemen were deployed at Konark as well as at Puri that is the home of 12th century old Jagannath Temple.
Even if the Sun Temple at Temple is the main attraction for the tourists all throughout the year but for today for mass bathing, the nearby Chandrabhaga River draws more crowds.