Maha Kumbh Mela: Huge crowd arrives for holy dip on 'Mauni Amavasya'
- Winter session Day 1: Govt talks about misuse of word 'secularism', Sonia raises 'intolerance' debate
- Sheena murder: CBI seeks Interpol help, Peter Mukerjea's custody extended till Nov 30
- PPCC chief Bajwa and Jakhar made to resign as rejig in Punjab Congress imminent
- Constitution Day: The many reasons why the BJP decided to celebrate it
- India-Pakistan series to be played from December 15 in Sri Lanka: Rajiv Shukla
Lakhs of devotees reached the bathing ghats here for a holy dip on the auspicious occasion of 'Mauni Amavasya' today in the ongoing Maha Kumbh congregation at the holy Sangam.
The day also marks the second 'Shahi Snan' of sadhus belonging to various 'Akharas'.
According to a rough estimate by officials, the number of people to have taken a dip by the crack of dawn appears to be "not less than 20 lakhs" and the final turnout may exceed the projected estimate of three crore.
Devotees started arriving at the bathing 'ghats' along the banks of the Ganga since last night itself as the special celestial configuration which makes Mauni Amavasya auspicious has been in place since yesterday afternoon.
The 12-yearly Maha Kumbh congregations are known to reach their climax, in terms of turnouts, on Mauni Amavasya and the administration has made arrangements expecting nearly three crore visitors this year.
Tight security arrangements are in place with more than 15,000 security personnel drawn from central paramilitary forces like ITBP, CRPF, BSF and RAF besides the Uttar Police and its Provincial Armed Constabulary and Anti Terrorist Squad keeping a close vigil.
The star attraction of the day remains 'Shahi Snan' of the 'Akharas' - orders of martial ascetics established by Adi Sankara - which proceeded, in turns, towards the holy river's confluence with Yamuna and mythical Saraswati in majestic processions.
The Maha Kumbh witnesses altogether three 'Shahi Snans', the first of which took place on Makar Sankranti (January 14) and the third and last is scheduled on Basant Panchmi (February 15).
There are altogether 13 'Akharas' belonging to various sects and each of them have been allotted specific time, ranging from 30 minutes to an hour, depending upon the size of their procession.
While the elderly went through the rituals observing a vow of silence (the word Mauni is derived from maun which means silence), others watched the sight of swords and spears wielding 'Naga' ascetics moving about with ash smeared on their bodies.
- Why every patriot should be worried, and, yes, ashamed
- Douglass North emphasised institutions when markets were the focus
- ‘Bovine Divine’ controversy lurched between the horrific and the comic
- PM Modi’s achievements abroad appear to cut little ice back home
- Post 13/11 sloganeering at Antalya and Kuala Lumpur won’t be enough
- Can Parliament be insulated from the vagaries of the political climate?