Bhubaneswar/Konark: Chandrabhaga, near Konark in Puri District, today, early in the morning, witnessed thousands of devotees taking holy dip on the eve of Magha Saptami.
This eve is celebrated as the birthday of the Sun God, since the Sun returns to its normal northern course. Pilgrims gather at Konark every year before sun rise for offering prayers to Sun God and taking bath.
The devotees take a holy dip on the seventh day of the new moon of Magha with an age-old belief that it would cleanse their sins and get them rid of skin diseases.
Along with Sun God, Mahadev is also worshipped at the place making the celebrations of this ‘Magha Mela’ unique.
Another interesting ritual performed in this famous mela is cooked rice and dried fish (shukhua) dalma which is offered to mythological demon Arkasura in whose name the place has been named as Arka Kshetra.
The food is then eaten together on banana leafs and the cooking pots are broken and thrown into the pond as per tradition. It is believed that all broken pieces of pots disappear from the pond afterwards.