Huge crowds of devotees, including women and children, thronged the holy Har-ki-Paidi and other bathing ghats of the Ganges for taking a dip to attain “moksha” (salvation) in the chilly waters amidst unprecedented security arrangements.
The main “snan” (bath) took place at Brahma Kund, Har-Ki-Paidi, though there was a rush of pilgrims also at Daksh Ghat, Raj Ghat, Vishnu Ghat, Hanuman Ghat, Bairagi Ghat and other ghats.
Much to the cheer and joy of the devotees the weather, after three consecutive days of foggy conditions, turned better and clear sky and bright sunshine greeted the bathers.
While some devotees were seen taking bath in the river, some were also seen offering “tarpan” (offering puja and giving alms praying for peace of the departed souls of their ancestors) at the ghats.
A large number of foreigners were also seen on the ghats of the Ganga enjoying the Mahakumbh Mela. Elaborate arrangements have been made for controlling the huge crowds.
Thursday’s “snan” is being taken as a rehearsal for the “shahi snans” (royal baths), falling on February 12, March 15 and April 14.