Devotees take holy dip in River Ganges on occasion of Devotthan Ekadashi
Scores of devotees took a holy dip in the River Ganges in Varanasi and Allahabad on the occasion of Devotthan Ekadashi or "God's Awakening" on Saturday.
Hindus believe that by performing rituals and offering prayers to the holy basil on the occasion of "Devotthan Ekadashi", their marriages would be hassle free.
As per legend, Lord Vishnu wakes up from his sleep of six months to herald the beginning of an auspicious period.
A devotee, Vimla Shukla, said: "Lord Vishnu wakes up from his six months sleep on this day. As per the Hindu tradition, all the auspicious events will take place."
The Ekadashi of the 'Kartik Maas', is also called the second Diwali. Thousands of marriages are already scheduled to be solemnised in the entire country.
Devotees mark the beginning of the auspicious marriage season by symbolically marrying Tulsi (Medicinal Herb Basil) with Saligram ji (a symbolic form of Hindu God Shiva) as per the Hindu rituals.
Krishnakumar Tiwari, a priest, said: "Today it is wedding of Goddess Tulsi (Medicinal Herb Basil) and it is an auspicious occasion of 'Devotthan Ekadashi'. Hindu God Vishnu will wake up. Devotees worship Saligram ji (a symbolic form of Hindu God Shiva) and Lord Vishnu and they fast. They also sing devotional songs. Taking bath in the holy water is considered to be auspicious."
Similar celebrations also took place in Allahabad.
A devotee, Gayatri Sharma, said: "All the auspicious events including religious rituals and marriages start from today. We pray for peace and prosperity. We start from the wedding of Goddess Tulsi (Medicinal Herb Basil)."
Pilgrims sang devotional songs and chanted religious hymns throughout the day in the Lord's praise.