People take holy dip, throng to temples across Odisha on Makar Sankranti
Bhubaneswar | Makar Sankranti was celebrated across Odisha on Monday with people taking holy dip in ponds and rivers and visiting temples.
Odisha Governor Raghubar Das and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik wished the people on the occasion.
"Heartiest greetings and congratulations on the occasion of the holy Makar Sankranti. May everyone's life be filled with happiness and prosperity by the blessings of Lord Shri Jagannath," Patnaik wrote on X.
A large number of devotees converged on the pilgrim town of Puri to have darshan of Lord Jagannath and his sibling deities on 'Makar Chourashi Besha' when the deities are adorned with garlands of colourful flowers and holy basils.
The festival is also celebrated in a grand way at several other temples including Hatakeshwar temple at Atri in Khurda district, Dhabaleswar Temple in Cuttack and Makara Muni temple in Balasore.
In the state capital of Bhubaneswar, people offered prayers at Lord Lingaraj temple. Many were seen taking a dip in Bindu Sagar lake.
The Sun Temple at Konark also attracted numerous worshippers on the occasion. The festival marks the end of winter and the beginning of spring as the Sun moves northwards towards the Tropic of Cancer.
In the millennium city of Cuttack and steel city Rourkela, people celebrated the festival by flying colourful kites. Enthusiasts were seen flocking to various grounds to indulge in spirited kite-flying competitions, a tradition synonymous with the festival.
The Tusu festival (also known as Tusu Parab) is celebrated in Mayurbhanj and Keonjhar districts by young girls of certain tribal communities on this day.
In South Odisha districts like Ganjam, Gajapati, Rayagada and Koraput, which has a sizeable Telugu population, people decorated the front of their houses with colourful rangoli and celebrated Pongal.
Besides exchanging greetings, people organised feasts in various parts of the state with sweet dishes prepared from newly harvested rice, sugar, banana, coconut, ghee and black pepper