Devotees stream in for Kumbh’s ‘last’ holy dip

Unmindful of tight security arrangements, elaborate traffic diversions and consequent jam-like situation, devotees in large numbers have begun reaching Sangam for the Maghi Purnima snan (bathing), virtually the last main snan day of Kumbh, of Monday. The mela authorities are expecting around a crore to take the holy dip.

Maghi Purnima snan marks the end of the month of Magh and also the kalpvas of one month. Around 5 lakh kalpvasis are estimated to be present in the Mela area. They will head home after taking the dip tomorrow. The Kumbh officially closes with Mahashivratri snan, which is on March 10, but that is considered to be largely a local affair.

Officials said that the return of kalpvasis was not likely to put much pressure on public transport. "Most of them come with private arrangements, which includes four-wheelers, tempos, mini buses and even tractors," the official said.

The other major chunk of crowd is of those people who see this snan as the last chance to take the holy dip.

With the increase in water level in the Ganga due to rain in northern regions, the overall length of ghats available for bathing has reduced. "As of now, the number of ghats, apart from the main Sangam ghat, is 24. But the total length available for bathing has reduced by a few thousand feet," said the official. Earlier, 16,000 feet of total length was available for the devotees, which has now come down to 12,000 feet, he added.

The authorities, however, heaved a sigh of relief, as the sun came out on Sunday after it rained heavily on Saturday.

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