Polluted Yamuna fouls Makar Sankranti mood

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Agra, Jan 15 (IANS) The stinking and highly polluted water in the river Yamuna proved quite a ‘put off’ for devotees who wanted to take a holy dip on the occasion of Makar Sankranti on Tuesday.

Except for Kailash temple, 15 km from the city, not a single ghat in the urban area afforded devotees an opportunity to enter the river for a ritualistic bath.

“We went to Haathi Ghat and the Belanganj area ghat but could not muster the desired mental courage to even touch the water which was smelling and jet black,” said Pandit Dwarkesh Sharma.

At Bateshwar, some 70 km downstream of the Taj Mahal, the number of devotees for the Makar Sankranti bath was high.

Pilgrims at Mathura were also disappointed. Many blamed the Uttar Pradesh government for not doing enough to save a dying river.

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Minus the euphoria over the ceremonial bath in Yamuna, people in Agra, Mathura and Vrindavan celebrated the day in a big way.

At a number of places, ‘khichdi’ was distributed. Long queues were seen at temples and for the Goverdhan parikrama.

In Agra the annual kite flying festival along the Yamuna was a huge attraction.

The sky was dotted with kites with messages demanding Yamuna cleaning and regular flow of water to save historical monuments along its banks.

–IANS

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