Over 8 lakh take holy dip in Ganga on Makar Sankranti

Tarpan offered to ancestors, puja held

Since early morning on Sunday, the devotees had started to throng the fabled Har Ki Paidi, braving the biting cold.  Things peaked on Tuesday when lakhs of them took the holy dip in the sacred river Ganga   on the auspicious occasion of Makar Sankranti. Though the turnout was heavy the snan passed off sans any disturbance thanks to the tight security arrangements put into place by the administration and the police. By the end of the day, near about  eight lakh devotees have taken the  holy dip, said police. The period of auspiciousness started on Monday afternoon and lasted till Tuesday afternoon, said the priests based in the holy city .

The devotees from across the country flocked to the ghats  to  take the holy dip in the revered Ganga to gainpunya  on the occasion of  Makar Sankranti which marks the advent of the  Sun God in ‘Uttarayan.’  The period is auspicious as new works are initiated from Makar Sankranti, said the priests.

The people performed tarpan (offering to the ancestors) at Narayani Shila and Kushawart Ghat on the day too. It is believed that whatever is  offered to the deceased members of the family it reaches straight to them and  the punya gets enhanced by holy dip taken in the sacred river. The punya gained this way  is believed to exceed the fruit gained through  performing ‘Ashwamedha Yajnas.’

 Speaking to The Pioneer, SSP Janmejay Khanduri said, “Things were smooth on the highway and other roads connecting Har Ki Paidi. This is despite the fact that over seven lakh people have taken the holy dip here till afternoon. The  highway was not closed at any point of time. Four -wheelers were allowed beyond Rishikul in the afternoon till the railway station.”  As per the police estimate,  the turnout figure on Tuesday crossed eight lakh by the evening on Tuesday.

Dwelling on the traffic arrangements made to ensure free movement of traffic during the two-day festival, SSP said, “The whole of  the mela area was divided into  several zones and sectors. Cops were positioned on the highway and the major crossings to ensure  that the  traffic was not stuck up anywhere.”

He further said that the pace of the traffic had slowed down a little as the traffic was diverted from the Laksar region. “But the matter of satisfaction for us is that the traffic has never been stuck up anywhere.  Traffic was diverted from Narsen entry point and the buses were made to move through Chilla route in the city. Zero zone was marked from the post office tri-junction to the main market of Har Ki Paidi and towards Bhim Goda area. Two teams of bomb squad and dog squad were  also deputed in the mela zone and the whole area was kept under the scanner of the close circuit cameras,” he said and added that the festival had passed off peacefully without any untoward incident reported from anywhere.

Wednesday, 16 January 2019 | PNS | Haridwar

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