Press Esc to close
Thursday 30 October 2014
News updated at 7:34 PM IST
Weather
Max: 0°C
Min : 0°C
In Bangalore
Sunny day

Lakhs of devotees take holy dip on 'Mauni Amavasya'

Allahabad, Feb 10, 2013, (PTI) :
 Millions of Hindu pilgrims are attending the Maha Kumbh festival, which is one of the world's largest religious gatherings that lasts 55 days and falls every 12 years. During the festival pilgrims bathe in the holy Ganges River in a ritual they believe can wash away their sins. AP Phot

Lakhs of devotees today took a holy dip on the auspicious occasion of 'Mauni Amavasya' in the ongoing Maha Kumbh congregation at the Sangam.

The day also marks the second 'Shahi Snan' of sadhus belonging to various 'Akharas'.
According to a rough estimate by officials, the number of people to have taken a dip by the crack of dawn appears to be "not less than 20 lakhs" and the final turnout may exceed the projected estimate of three crore.

Devotees started arriving at the bathing 'ghats' along the banks of the Ganga since last night itself as the special celestial configuration which makes Mauni Amavasya auspicious has been in place since yesterday afternoon.


The 12-yearly Maha Kumbh congregations are known to reach their climax, in terms of turnouts, on Mauni Amavasya and the administration has made arrangements expecting nearly three crore visitors this year.

Tight security arrangements are in place with more than 15,000 security personnel drawn from central paramilitary forces like ITBP, CRPF, BSF and RAF besides the Uttar Police and its Provincial Armed Constabulary and Anti Terrorist Squad keeping a close vigil.

The star attraction of the day remains 'Shahi Snan' of the 'Akharas' – orders of martial ascetics established by Adi Sankara – which proceeded, in turns, towards the holy river's confluence with Yamuna and mythical Saraswati in majestic processions.
The Maha Kumbh witnesses altogether three 'Shahi Snans', the first of which took place on Makar Sankranti (January 14) and the third and last is scheduled on Basant Panchmi (February 15).

There are altogether 13 'Akharas' belonging to various sects and each of them have been allotted specific time, ranging from 30 minutes to an hour, depending upon the size of their procession.

While the elderly went through the rituals observing a vow of silence (the word Mauni is derived from maun which means silence), others watched the sight of swords and spears wielding 'Naga' ascetics moving about with ash smeared on their bodies.

While the 'Naga sadhus' are reaching the venue from their respective camps on foot, their leaders known by honorifics like 'Shri Mahant' and 'Mahamandaleshwar' cover the distance perched atop richly-decorated chariots with musical bands playing devotional tunes.

Make-shift roads have been laid down with the help of metallic chequered plates with barricading on both sides to ensure that the 'Shahi Snan' processions go on without any inconvenience.

Go to Top

Photo Gallery
Devotees offer prayers during Chhath festival celebrations at Galta Kund in Jaipur...

Devotees offer prayers during Chhath festival celebrations at Galta Kund in Jaipur...

Dipika Pallikal in action against Japan's Misaki Kobayashi in finals of JSW-PSA...

Dipika Pallikal in action against Japan's Misaki Kobayashi in finals of JSW-PSA...

Delhi Dynamos FC (orange) and North East United FC (white) players in action during...

Delhi Dynamos FC (orange) and North East United FC (white) players in action during...

President Pranab Mukherjee during the conference of directors of National Institutes...

President Pranab Mukherjee during the conference of directors of National Institutes...

Army personnel take position during a search operation of Lashkar-e-Taiba hideouts...

Army personnel take position during a search operation of Lashkar-e-Taiba hideouts...

Workers build the stage at the Wankhede stadium for the swearing in ceremony...

Workers build the stage at the Wankhede stadium for the swearing in ceremony...

Sri Lankan team during practice session before the match against India A...

Sri Lankan team during practice session before the match against India A...

Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan with filmmaker Farah Khan, actors Boman Irani...

Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan with filmmaker Farah Khan, actors Boman Irani...

Vehicles ply at Rajpath as fog covers it in New Delhi...

Vehicles ply at Rajpath as fog covers it in New Delhi...

A camel herder stands beside resting camels at the annual cattle fair in Pushkar...

A camel herder stands beside resting camels at the annual cattle fair in Pushkar...

Copyright 2014, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G Road, Post Box 5331, Bangalore - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523