Gangasagar Mela: Lakhs of pilgrims take holy dip on the occasion of Makar Sankranti

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Pilgrims offer prayer during Gangasagar Mela, in South 24 Parganas district

Pilgrims offer prayer during Gangasagar Mela, in South 24 Parganas district

Gangasagar: Lakhs of pilgrims from across the country took the holy dip at the confluence of the river Ganga and the Bay of Bengal on the occasion of Makar Sankranti in the wee hours Monday, a senior official of the state government said.

The gathering this year is over 65 lakhs, but so far only few lakhs have taken the holy dip, he said, adding that the pilgrims also offered prayers at the Kapil Muni Temple.

Every year, on the occasion of Makar Sankranti, lakhs of pilgrims flock to Gangasagar to take a dip and offer prayers at the Kapil Muni Temple.

Owing to the congregation of such a huge number of pilgrims, the state government has beefed up the security arrangements at Sagar Island.

Apart from the state police, NDRF, SDRF and Coast Guard personnel have been deployed with necessary gear for responding to any eventuality.

"Nearly 65 lakh pilgrims have visited Gangasagar Mela till Sunday noon since the opening of the fair on January 8," Aroop Biswas, the state Power and Sports minister, told reporters here on Sunday.

Biswas said the fairground, spread over the sprawling beach, has been brought under the surveillance of around 1,100 CCTV cameras and 22 drones.

He said that 14,000 policemen have been deployed, 45 watch towers built and pilgrims are being ferried to Sagar Island through 36 vessels, 100 launches and six barges across 22 jetties, while 300 fog lights have been installed on Muriganga River.

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