Lakhs of devotees from different parts of the country took a holy dip in the Ganga at Har ki Pairi and other ghats here on Thursday on the occasion of Makar Sankranti.
With large crowds converging on the ghats for ritual bath on the occasion, it was also a sort of dry run for the administration and the police for the forthcoming Kumbh Mela here.
Devotees began descending into the pilgrimage city from across the country from Wednesday evening for a holy dip in the Ganga on Makar Sankranti.
They also offered arghya to the Sun God and worshipped in temples dotting the city.
The holy bath began at 4 am and continued till late in the evening amid tight security arrangements around Har ki Pairi which witnessed the largest gathering of devotees, District Magistrate C Ravishankar said.
Mela IG Sanjay Gunjyal, the district magistrate and other officials kept a strict vigil in the area to ensure that the Covid-19 guidelines were not violated.
Those not wearing masks were fined and offered masks, the DM said.
Around 40,000 devotees also bathed in the Ganga at Rishikesh’s famous Triveni ghat, a police official said.