Brav­ing cold weather, 1.5 crore peo­ple take dip in last ‘shahi snan’ of Kumbh

Millennium Post - - Mp Nation - ARUNAV SINHA

ALLAHABAD: The chill in the at­mos­phere in and around the Sangam here failed to dam­pen the spirit of around 1.5 crore peo­ple who gath­ered Sun­day for the third ‘shahi snan' at the con­flu­ence of Ganga, Ya­muna and the myth­i­cal Saraswati.

Even be­fore the dawn broke, scores of peo­ple hail­ing from dif­fer­ent walks of life had taken the dip with their friends and fam­ily. As a bright sunny day pro­gressed, the num­ber of devo­tees and en­thu­si­asts tak­ing dip went up.

“Around 1.5 crore peo­ple have taken dip on the oc­ca­sion of Bas­ant Pan­chami. Close to 50 lakh devo­tees had taken dip be­fore the sun­rise,” Kumbh Mela Ad­hikari Vi­jay Ki­ran Anand told PTI. He also said all ‘akha­ras' have com­pleted the shahi snan (royal bath).

With Sun­day's fig­ures, the to­tal num­ber of pil­grims tak­ing the holy dip dur­ing the Kumbh this year (up to Fe­bru­ary 10) has touched 16.44 crore, of­fi­cials said.

The con­tin­u­ous cold breeze sweep­ing the mela area could not de­ter the devo­tees from tak­ing the dip in Sangam. They chanted devotional hymns eu­lo­giz­ing var­i­ous gods and god­desses. Chants of Har Har Gangey' and Jai Ganga Maiyya' filled the air as devo­tees poured in and around the bathing ghats.

Ut­tar Pradesh Chief Min­is­ter Yogi

Adityanath has ex­pressed his grat­i­tude to all akha­ras and saints on the suc­cess­ful con­duct of three shahi snans and a to­tal of four snans dur­ing the on­go­ing Kumbh.

He con­grat­u­lated all the of­fi­cers of the Team Kumbh for their hard work in the or­gan­i­sa­tion of the Kumbh, a se­nior UP govern­ment of­fi­cial said.

How­ever, UP Cabi­net min­is­ter and leader of Suheldev Bharatiya Sa­maj Party (SBSP) Om Prakash Ra­jb­har

ques­tioned the sta­tis­tics of the pil­grims turn­ing up at the mega event.

“On what ba­sis are they (govern­ment) claim­ing that around 15 crore peo­ple have vis­ited the Kumbh Mela? Can they tell which route has been opted by the devo­tees and pil­grims, while ar­riv­ing at the Kumbh and de­part­ing from it?” Ra­jb­har told re­porters.

The en­tire Kumbh Mela area wore an il­lu­mi­nated look (be­fore sun­rise), and devo­tees ap­proach­ing the Sangam area through Kali Marg were mes­mer­ized by the LED light­ing.

Some en­thu­si­asts stopped to click selfies, with an il­lu­mi­nated mela area in the back­ground. Most of the devo­tees could be seen car­ry­ing wa­ter of river Ganga in bot­tles af­ter fin­ish­ing the rit­ual bath. As the num­ber of vis­i­tors started go­ing up, se­nior po­lice of­fi­cials were heard is­su­ing in­struc­tions to the devo­tees to take a spe­cific exit routes, and fin­ish the bathing for­mal­ity, so that other devo­tees could also take the holy dip.

The Kumbh Mela po­lice used gas bal­loons as in­di­ca­tor to the pub­lic throng­ing the mela area to lo­cate the lost-and-found cen­tres run by it.

Chop­pers were also used for aerial mon­i­tor­ing of the Kumbh mela area.

The mela com­menced on Jan­uary 15 on Makar Sankranti, the first bathing day, and the Ma­hashiv­ra­tri on March 4 will mark its last bathing day.

Prior to Bas­ant Pan­chami, shahi snans were held on Makar Sankranti on Jan­uary 15 and Mauni Amawasya on Fe­bru­ary 4.

Allahabad Mayor Ab­hi­lasha Gupta Nandi said, “Bas­ant Pan­chami is the third and the last shahi snan of the Kumbh. By tak­ing three dips on this day, a devo­tee gets the bless­ings of the Ganga, the Ya­muna and the myth­i­cal Saraswati rivers. Hence, it holds tremen­dous sig­nif­i­cance for devo­tees.”

An aerial shot shows a sea of devo­tees gath­ered at Sangam to take a holy dip on the oc­ca­sion of Bas­ant Pan­chami fes­ti­val dur­ing the Kumbh Mela 2019, in Prayagraj (Allahabad), on Sun­day

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.