Despite the biting cold, hundreds of devotees across Himachal Pradeshon Monday took holy dips in therivers to mark MakarSankranti, a major festival of harvest that is celebrated in various parts of the country.
A huge number of devotees were seen assembling at Tattapani, a village located 50 km from Shimla , and Manikaran, home to a Sikh shrine in Kullu district, for taking dips in the Satluj and Parvati rivers respectively.
Tattapani and Manikaran are renowned for their hot springs with high sulphur concentration.
However, the natural hot springs situated along the Satlujriverin Tattapaniceased after the construction of the 800 MW Koldam hydroelectric power project executed by the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC).
Its reservoir has deluged the hot springs hence the state government has made artificial tubs for the devotees to take bath in hot spring waters.
Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur and Governor AcharyaDevvratalsogreeted the people on the occasion.
Further , the devotees took holy dip in Vashist temple, which is also known for its hot springs located on the outskirts of the popular tourist resort Manali.
MakarSankranti marks the beginning of longer and warmer days compared to the nights.