Bugle for Mahakumbh sounded at 'Sangam'

The bugle for the forthcoming ‘Mahakumbha’ mela beginning at `Sangam' (the confluence of the Ganga, Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati rivers) in Allahabad on January 27 next year, has been sounded with ‘Juna Akhara’, the biggest `akhara' (organisation of different sects of sadhus), entered the town with traditional fanfare to participate in one of the most important hindu pilgrimages in which millions of devotees are expected to take dip in the holy waters at ‘Sangam’.

The ‘shahi’ (royal) procession comprising the sadhus and `yogis' of the `akhara' was given a rousing reception by the people as it entered the town limits on Sunday.

While the old traditions were followed by the `akhara', the imprint of modernity was also clearly visible as sadhus, carrying poles and flags rode motorcycles. Traditional arms like swords, spears were also displayed by the accompanying sadhus along with pistols.

Two sadhus, who lead the procession, blew trumpets as it marched through the narrow streets of the town. The biggest attraction of the procession was the presence of the naked `naga sadhus' (followers of the Shaiva sect and considered to be representatives of Lord Shiva, their bodies smeared with ash). The naga sadhus, carrying trident and spears, danced as they moved along with the procession.

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