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Revelry and camaraderie filled the air as people across the state took ritualistic dips in rivers and visited temples on the occasion of Makar Sankranti. A large number of devotees thronged the seaside pilgrim town of Puri, 60km from here, to witness the special rituals performed on this occasion at Sri Jagannath temple. In the state capital of Bhubaneswar, people offered prayers at Lord Lingaraj temple. Many were seen taking a dip in Bindu Sagar. 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. Elsewhere too, devotees were seen making long queues in front of temples since early morning. 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. In the millennium city of Cuttack, the sky was dotted with colourful kites. Enthusiasts were seen flocking to terraces of their homes to indulge in spirited kite-flying competitions, a tradition synonymous with the festival.
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