In the Name of the Sun

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According to Hindu scriptures, Makar Sankranti is considered to be an auspicious occasion as the Sun makes its way to the North reaching the Makar Rashi or Capricorn. From this day, the Sun is regarded as Uttarayan or northward bound. Makar Sankranti is one of the few festivals where the Sun God is worshiped in India. Despite the power that the Sun is believed to yield in prayer (the Gayatri Mantra is one of the post popular Hindu chants), the fact is that there are only a handful of Sun temples in India.
The origins of Sun worship date back to the Bronze age, with the Sun being worshiped in ancient Egypt, Africa and Central and South American cultures. The representations of the Sun in India go back to the Neolithic period, but in the absence of historical evidence we cannot be certain if Sun was worshiped or not. The Sun has been found depicted in the Neolithic pottery found at Piklihal in Lingsaur district of Karnataka as well as in the paintings in the rock shelters of Singhanpur in Raigar area of Chhatisgarh.

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