Thousands of Hindus offer prayers to the sun in Orissa

February 2nd, 2009 - 12:51 pm ICT by IANS  

Bhubaneswar, Feb 2 (IANS) Nearly half a million Hindu devotees Monday took a holy dip in a pond in Orissa’s temple town of Konark and offered prayers to the sun in the belief that they would be cured of all diseases.”About 500,000 Hindus took bath at sunrise at the pond near the Konark temple. Nearly 1,000 policemen were deployed at the site,” said police officer Sanatana Panigrahi.

Konark is about 65 km from state capital Bhubaneswar.

According to legend, Hindu god Krishna’s son Shamba was cured of leprosy after a holy dip at the site of the Chandrabhaga river on the seventh day of the bright half of Hindu month of Magha that falls in the Christian calendar months of January-February.

The place where Shambha is said to have meditated and worshiped the sun god after bathing in the river for 12 years has become a sacred spot and devotees believe it has curative properties.

Today, the river no longer exists. What is left could be described either as a large pond or a very small lake where every year devotees take bath and worship the sun.

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