People witness a once-in-a-year event at Gavi Gangadhareshwara Temple

The roads were practically deserted here on Sunday, as many people chose to spend Sankranti in-doors.

Women went around distributing “yellu bella” (a mixture of sesame seeds, jaggery, groundnuts, dried coconut and fried gram) and sugarcane pieces, while the devout went to temples for special pujas.

Intricate rangolis were seen in front of most houses.

The festival also brought with it an opportunity for the people to visit their relatives and exchange greetings.

Bangalore being a cosmopolitan city witnessed different celebrations of the “harvest festival.”

At several places, children and adults flew kites. Flying kites is also another way to celebrate Sankranti.

Tamils celebrated it by making savoury and sweet variants of “pongal”.

The tradition of making cattle jump over fire was also observed in a few places on the outskirts of the city.

People thronged the historic Gavi Gangadhareshwara Temple (cave temple) in the evening to witness the once-in-a-year spectacle when the setting sun's rays fall on the idol (Shiva Linga).

The temple authorities had put up big screens for the devotees to view the spectacle.

Once a year on Makara Sankranti, the rays of the sun fall on the South-facing idol, indicating the shift of the Sun's movement northwards (Dakshinayana to Uttarayana).

At 5.25 p.m., as the sun's rays fell on the Shiva Linga, “Hara Hara Mahadev” and “Om Namah Shivaya” rent the air.

Special abhisheka was performed at the temple.

Cultural programmes organised by various organisations marked the occasion.

At Rajarajeshwarinagar, the four-day “Sankranti Santhe” organised by Sneharanga, Grameena Natural and Sri Rajarajeshwari Sports and Cultural Association concluded. Cattle were decorated and taken out in a procession. It was followed by a percussion programme by Shruti Sindoora Academy of Music and fusion by Jyothsna Srikantha and Party.