SOUTH 24 PARAGANAS (West Bengal): Devotees and pilgrims took a holy dip in the Ganges on Sunday at Gangasagar in the South 24 Parganas district of West Bengal, marking the auspicious occasion of Makar Sankranti for the second consecutive day.
Pilgrims and seers were seen braving the bitter cold and lowering themselves into the icy waters of the Ganges and praying with folded hands.
Meanwhile, the Indian Coast Guard, which has already deployed personnel while keeping their boats and aircraft on standby to ensure the safety and security of the devotees and pilgrims at the fair, also kept a close watch on the fairground in the South 24 Parganas district.
According to sources, the Indian Coast Guard is working closely with the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) and the district administration to provide security to the pilgrims.
The NDRF and SDRF teams are also on standby so that they could be mobilised at short notice in the event of an untoward incident.
Makar Sankranti is considered as one of the most auspicious times in the year, marking the transition of the Sun from Dakshinayan to Uttarayan.
Celebrated on January 14 every year, the festival is known by several other names such as Pongal, Bihu, and Maghi.