Maha Kumbh starts, thousands take dip in Ganga

via published on January 14, 2010

HARIDWAR: Braving the winter chill, thousands of devotees today took a holy dip in the Ganga here heralding the start of the three-month-long Maha Kumbh, considered the largest religious congregation that takes place once in 12 years.

With the sun rise at about 0645 hours, devotees, who had started lining up along the streets of Haridwar leading to various ghats, took the dip on the occasion of ‘Makar Sankranti’ — known as Uttarayan in other parts of the country, the day when the sun starts to move northwards marking the decline of winter.

Men, women and children outnumbered the sadhus, who are expected to throng the city only after January 26 as the official entrance of the ‘akharas’ will begin then.

The first ‘shahi snan’ or royal bath is scheduled for February 12 when the akhara chiefs also join the devotees.

Many foreigners who were seen in the queue also took bath.

“I was in Jaipur where I was told about this mega religious event. I came down to be a part of it,” Victor Schendia from Switzerland, who lined up near the main ghat ‘Hari Ki Pauri’, said.

The roads leading to nearly 300 ghats have a heavy police presence that has turned the Haridwar into a fortress.

Barricades have been set up to control the flow of crowds.

The traffic in the city has come to a halt with no vehicles being allowed to ply.

Welcome to Haindava Keralam! Register for Free or Login as a privileged HK member to enjoy auto-approval of your comments and to receive periodic updates.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 characters available

fourteen + eleven =

Latest Articles from Bharath Focus

Did You Know?