Millions take holy dip in Sangam

Lakhs of devotees took a holy dip in the Sangam at Allahabad on the fourth major snan (bathing) on the occasion of Maghi Purnima, the last day of the Hindu month of Magh on Monday. 

Tight security arrangements were in place.

Large crowds of devotees from different parts of the country, who had started gathering at Kumbhnagar since Sunday evening, began taking bath after midnight. By noon, around six million devotees had already taken the holy dip, an officer here said.

Tight security arrangements have been put in place at Kumbhnagar as well as Allahabad town in the wake of the recent blasts at Hyderabad and the stampede tragedy at Allahabad railway station on February 10, which had accounted for 37 lives.

Security personnel in large numbers were deployed and sniffer dogs were pressed into service. Senior officials were camping at the mela area to monitor the movement of crowd and prevent gathering of large crowds at any particular spot. Vehicles were being allowed in the town only after strict checking, the officers said.

The month long kalpvas also comes to an end with Monday’s bathing. Lakhs of kalpvasis, who had arrived at the mela a month ago on the Paush Purnima, have started leaving the mela area. 

They stay in small tents near the Sangam for one month during which they take bath at the Sangam thrice daily while eating only once a day.

The Naga sadhus have already left the mela area after the third and last shahi snan  on Basant Panchami on February 15. 

The next important date for the Mahakumbh bathing is Maha Shivratri on March 10.Special arrangements have been made to transport devotees to their respective destinations. 

UP State Road Transport Corporation (UPSRTC) has arranged for additional buses for Monday’s bathing while the railways have also arranged for special trains.

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