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Over 90 lakh take holy dip in Sangam on ‘Makar Sankranti’
Lucknow, Jan 15 (IANS) More than 90 lakh people took the holy dip at the Sangam — the confluence of the three holy rivers Ganga, Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati — on the festival of Makar Sankranti on Monday, Allahabad district officials said.
In the second major bathing of the ongoing "Magh Mela", people started taking the holy dip as early as 3:00 a.m. and thousands of people made a beeline at different bathing spots and ghats.
Heavy barricading had been done at the roads leading to the Sangam and additional security forces were deployed to ensure that there was no inconvenience to the people, Magh Mela Superintendent of Police Neeraj Pandey informed.
It was estimated that by sunset over 1 crore people would have taken a dip in the Sangam at Allahabad.
Last year, the Makar Sankranti day had seen more than 76 lakh people taking the holy dip, officials said.
After the holy dip, people offered alms to the destitute and poor, and prayed to the Sun God.
People were also seen flying kites and enjoying the bright sun.
The Sun entered "Makar Rashi" on Sunday evening, priests and astrologers said, adding that this would bring a new turn to the lives of people, based on their zodiac signs and placement of planets in their horoscopes.
Crowds were also witnessed at all major river banks in the state, especially in Varanasi, as people came to take a holy dip in the Ganges and complete the rituals marked for the day, which is very significant in the Hindu religion.