Over 20 lakh devotees take holy dip on Makar Sankranti

Sagar Island (WB), Jan 14 (PTI) Nearly 20 lakh devotees from across the country as well as from neighbouring Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh today took a holy dip at the confluence of the River Ganga and the Bay of Bengal on the occasion of Makar Sankranti.

With prayers on their lips, the devotees jostled for space since early hours to take a dip in the holy water at Ganga Sagar, also known as 'Sagardwip'.

Every year, on Makar Sankranti day, an ocean of pilgrims gather here to take a dip at the confluence of the River Ganga and the Bay of Bengal and offer prayers in the Kapil Muni Temple.

Shankaracharya of Puri Swami Nischalananda Saraswati, who is here for Makar Sankranti, has backed West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's demand that the annual Ganga Sagar Mela should be treated on par with the famous Kumbh Mela.

"I thank and welcome the demand of West Bengal chief minister that Ganga Sagar Mela should be treated on par with Kumbh Mela," Saraswati said.

Banerjee has said recently that the Ganga Sagar Mela is being held for ages and pilgrims throng the place in large number for many years, so it should be given the status of the Kumbh Mela.

"Last year, around 15 lakh pilgrims had visited the Ganga Sagar. This year already we have crossed that mark and nearly 20 lakh people are here. We have made all arrangements for them so that they can have a memorable outing here," Sou...

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