Pilgrims take holy dip at Gangasagar on Makar Sankranti
(Sourced from PTI)
Thousands of pilgrims took the holy dip on Makar Sankranti at the confluence of the Ganga and the Bay of Bengal and offered prayers at the Kapil Muni temple on Thursday. The pilgrimage is taking place amid strict COVID-19 health safety protocols. A large number of volunteers and police personnel have been deployed to ensure people follow the guidelines, officials said.
Braving cold and fog, pilgrims from around the country came out of their camps early in the morning to take the holy dip. However, this time, less number of pilgrims have come to Gangasagar due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As per the Hindu calendar, the timings of the holy dip this year are from 6:02 am on Thursday till 6:02 am on Friday.
The Calcutta High Court on Wednesday had allowed the Gangasagar Mela to be held this year while asking the West Bengal government to pursue pilgrims to opt for e-snan (e-bathing). A report by the Director of Health Services of state government states that the risk of COVID-19 transmission through bathing in flowing water, like in a river or sea, is extremely low.
The report further mentions that as a precautionary measure, pilgrims have been allowed to take the dip in a staggered manner while maintaining a safe distance between one another to prevent the spread of COVID-19.