Sagar Islands: Around 3.5 lakh devotees took a holy dip in the Ganga Sunday on the eve of Makar Sankranti at the confluence of the river and the Bay of Bengal here.
"Around 3.5 lakh devotees took the holy dip in Ganga today (Sunday). About 50,000 more pilgrims are expected to come for the Sankranti on Monday," said South 24 Parganas`s Superintendent of Police Pravin Tripathi.
"We have made elaborate arrangements not only for the peaceful conduct of the fair but also to ensure the devotees get proper facilities," he added.
About 150 km from Kolkata in South 24-Parganas district, this island is considered auspicious by the Hindus, who gather here on Makar Sankranti, annually celebrated Jan 14, for a holy dip and to pray by offering coconuts at the Kapil Muni temple.
The devout believe that a single dip in the sacred water washes off sins of one`s lifetime.
The government has made all arrangements including adequate security for a peaceful conduct of the fair.
Several state ministers including Public Health Engineering Minister Subrata Mukherjee are camping at the island to supervise the arrangements.