Biggest shahi snan at Mahakumbh
Three crore devotees expected to take dip on auspicious Sunday
The biggest and the most important shahi snan of the ongoing Mahakumbh will take place at Sangam at Allahabad on the occasion of Mauni Purnima on Sunday with around three crore devotees likely to take a holy dip in the river.
Sangam is the confluence of the Ganges, Yamuna and mythical Saraswati.
The entire mela area has turned into a sea of humanity with millions of devotees from across the world thronging the sprawling makeshift township of Kumbhnagar spread over an area of 58 square kilometres.
Devotees started arriving the venue since Friday night itself, officials said, as they geared up to ensure smooth and peaceful bathing at the sangam.
UP roadways pressed additional buses into service to ferry devotees from different parts of the state. Railways have also started special trains for them.
Although the devotees already started bathing at sangam as the mahurat (auspicious time) began on Saturday afternoon, the various akharas, saints and sadhus will bathe only on Sunday morning.
The second shahi snan — royal bath at the Sangam by saints and sadhus of the 13 akharas — will also take place on Sunday morning.
Nirmohi Akhara will lead it and each akhara will be given 40 minutes for the purpose, officials said.
Massive arrangements have been made to ensure that no untoward incident takes place. The bathing ghats and the roads leading to the Sangam had been widened to prevent any congestion during the processions.
The recent rains have increased the water levels of Ganges and Yamuna which is creating problems for the authorities.
“Bright sunshine for the past couple of days has improved the situation,” an official said.
Special instructions were issued for the battery of mediapersons, both national and international, who have come to the Mahakumbh to capture the grand bathing ceremony.
Officials have advised mediapersons not to get too close to the sadhus having the bath and to take care of religious sensitivities while taking snaps.
The Mahakumbh, held every 12 years, is a 55-day event during which as many as six shahi snans take place.
The event began with the first royal bath on January 14 on Makar Sankranti.
The next royal bath will take place on Basant Panchami (February 15).
The other important days for the Mahakumbh are Maghi Purnima (February 25) and Maha Shivratri (March 10).