“More than five lakh devotees took the holy dip today (Wednesday). Nothing untoward has occurred so far,” South 24 Parganas district magistrate Sanjay Basu said.
Braving the chilly weather, the devotees began taking dips at the confluence of the Ganga river with the Bay of Bengal, known as Gangasagar, from the early hours of the day.
Adequate security measures were put in place. Besides deploying about 6,000 security personnel, watch towers and CCTV cameras were set up at strategic places.
Sagar Island, about 150 km from Kolkata in South 24 Parganas district, sees a massive gathering of people every Makar Sankranti, celebrated each year Jan 14. Offerings of coconuts are made at the Kapil Muni temple here.
The devout believe that a dip in the sacred water at this time washes off sins of a lifetime.
Many ministers, including Public Health Engineering Minister Subrata Mukherjee, Power Minister Manish Gupta and Urban Development Minister Firhad Hakim are camping on the island to supervise arrangements.