“Till date, nearly 3.5 lakh devotees have performed the ‘pind daan’. It was more than what we expected in view of the floods and drought in several states across India,” a district official said.
The district authorities said they estimate that as many as 500,000 devotees would come to Gaya to perform “pind daan” during the “pitrapaksh” (the fortnight-long ancestor worship period as per Hindu custom).
Gaya Senior Superintendent of Police Nihant Kumar Tiwari said tight security arrangements have been made for devotees.
The ritual is performed on the banks of the sacred Falgu river and at Vishnupad temple.
Priest Murari Lal said that according to Hindu belief, the soul wanders after death until “pind daan” is performed by male descendants of the dead. It is mandatory for Hindu devotees offering “pind daan” to shave their heads and take a holy dip and head for the Baitarni pond.