Thousands of people took holy dip and offered prayers to the Sun God at Chandrabhaga beach near Konark of Puri district early Tuesday on the occasion of annual "Magha Mela" held on the Magha Saptami day.
People take holy dip on the seventh day of the new moon of "Magha" month with a belief that it will cleanse their sins and get them rid of skin diseases. The day is also observed as the birthday of the Sun God.
The holy dip started after the completion of rituals at 4.10 am.
In the festival, there is a ritual of preparing cooked rice, dried fish and 'dalma', a traditional food of the state, which is offered to mythological demon Arkasura.
Earlier, Konark and the surrounding areas were used to be known as Arka Kshetra after Arkasura.
The administration has made elaborate security arrangement at Chandrabhaga beach.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)