Shimla: Thousands of devotees across Himachal Pradesh took a holy dip in various hot water springs early Tuesday morning on the occasion of Makar Sakranti.
A large number of pilgrims gathered at these religious places from across north India to take a holy dip in natural hot springs of the state.
Alone in Tattapani, situated at the right bank of the Sutlej and is 50 Kms from Shimla, more than one lakh pilgrims started taking a dip at 4 am. People also performed a traditional ritual of Tuladaan along the bank of the river to fend off the bad omens. People donate a mixture of seven kinds of grains, including rice and wheat equal to their body weight – to calm down or divert the bad influence of various planets on their fate, as per Hindu mythology.
The ritual of taking holy dip and Tuladaan is also performed through out the month of Magh on occasions like Baisakhi, Solar and Lunar Eclipse (Surya Grahan and Chandar Grahan).
Hot springs of Tattapani has high sulphur concentration that is supposed to heal various skin diseases. These hot springs are going to be submerged in the 800 mw Kol Dam project executed by the NTPC. On the occasion of Makar Sakranti, Chief Parliamentary Secretary and MLA of the area, Mansa Ram, stated that these hot water springs will be shifted to the other place so that the religious beliefs of the people could be safeguarded.
Makar Sakranti is also marked as the beginning of the new-year as per the Vikrami Samwant.