Konark, Feb 3: Several lakh of devotees gathered from all over the country and outside for the Magha Saptami Mela on the beach of the Chandrabhaga sea in Konark today morning. Devotees of Sun God were seen taking holy dips in the sea as a traditional ritual. Konark, the Black Pagoda, is a popular destination for worshipping Lord Surya or the Sun God. At night, the deities Tribeniswara, Isaneswara and Dakshineswara of the world renowned Konark temple, will be carried in procession to the Chandrabhaga beach for special rituals. The devotees were since yesterday waiting for the Sun to rise to take the holy dip in the Chandrabhaga sea. They will be then visiting the Navagraha deities at the temple and then start for Puri to visit the Jagannath temple.
On Magha Saptami observed on the seventh day of the waxing phase of the Odia month of magha, the devotees take a holy dip believing it will free them from evils as well as physical ailments. Pilgrims gathered at the Chandrabhaga Fair ground where a massive cultural fair was conducted. As per legend, Shamba, the son of Lord Krishna, was cured of leprosy after taking holy dip at the Chandrabhaga river on the seventh day of the bright half of Magha.
Around 30 platoons of police for security of pilgrims and to avoid any untoward incident like stampede have been deployed and the devotees will be allowed inside the temple only in que. This was said to media by Puri SP, Sarthak Sarangi