People from across India have converged in Bihar’s Gaya city to take part in the traditional Pitru Paksha Mela Maha Sangam 2016, where solemn rituals are performed in homage to one’s ancestors.
People who perform the ritual believe that this rite will deliver salvation to departed souls.
While a few pilgrims were seen performing the rituals, others had just arrived to take part in the ritual.
Chunnu Ji Pandey, a local priest, told ANI, “I perform the ritual here. I have been doing this for 17 years now. Pilgrims come here to offer prayers for their departed ones. Some people perform the ritual for a day while some do it for 17 days.”
During this festival, the ritual of Pind-daan is performed which is a must to do obligation for all Hindus or followers of Hindu religion.
People were also seen getting their heads shaved and taking a dip in a reservoir.
Hindus also believe that no work can be successfully performed without the blessings of their ancestors or by performing the Pind Daan.
A visitor, Ram Gopal, told ANI, “I am here to pray for my ancestors. I will do it for 17 days. Whoever comes and does the ritual here, the soul of departed will receive salvation. So, I will do it so that my ancestors receive salvation.”
The Gaya district administration has stepped up preparations to ensure a smooth functioning of the festival.