Every year, on the day of Makar Sankranti, when the sun makes a transition from Sagittarius to Capricorn, hundreds of thousands of Hindus make the pilgrimage to the Sagar Island to take a holy dip in the river Ganga and offer prayers at the Kapil Muni Temple. In this photo: The journey to Gangasagar begins at a temporary camp set up at Babughat, Kolkata for pilgrims and sadhus.
Sagar Island or Gangasagar lies at the mouth of the river Ganga, from where it drains into the Bay of Bengal. In this photo: During their short stay at the camp, devotees observe several acts that the sadhus perform.
At the fair ground, devotees spend time in temporary shelters set-up against rain and mist. The most auspicious time for the holy dip is generally between 4.30 and 6 am. Despite the cold winter morning and freezing water they take dips in, the magnitude of the congregation is second only to that of Kumbh Mela.
A young priest who took a dip at the fair.
Devotees pay their respects to the rising sun.
After the holy dip, devotees hug each other.
A father and son enjoy their time at the Fair.
The fair also sees performances by groups of travelling musicians.
Palm reading and other activities entertain visitors for the rest of the day.
An elderly couple from Jharkhand pleads with volunteers to help them find their relatives. At the shelter, people with mobile phones are a source of help. "Can you call my family?" is a constant plea.