On the occasion of somwati amavsya snan, around 25 lakh devotees took holy dip in sacred river Ganga at Har ki Pauri on Monday, according to mela administration officials.
The pilgrims came from across the country specially from Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan. After the holy bath, devotees offered Ganga poojan (worship of Ganga) at different river banks of the city. In spite of huge rush thronging at the Har ki Pauri no untoward incident was reported during the bath festival.
A large number of pilgrims started arriving at Har ki Pauri during the early hours of Monday and the crowd continued till afternoon. Pilgrims reached Har ki Pauri through Rodiwala route and returned from the upper road. All the parking points of the city were full but mela administration managed to run Rishikul bus stand without trouble.
“Around 25 lakh devotees came to Haridwar for taking holy dip in the Ganga on Somwati Amavsya snan. Everything happened smoothly according to the plan and no untoward incident was reported during snan. We had made special arrangements for senior citizens and physically challenged devotees to reach Ganga ghat for snan,” mela officer of Ardhkumbh SA Murugeson said.
Long queues of the devotees were seen at the main temples. Devotees also reached at Narayini Shila temple in Mayapur where they offered special pitra dosh prayer for peace.
“It is believed that prayer at Narayini Shila especially on Somwati Amavasya is very useful to overcome the problem of pitra dosh. Women did prayer of peepal tree on this occasion for peace and prosperity,” said Manoj Kumar Tirpathi, a pundit of Narayini Shila temple.
Meanwhile, due to sudden increase of crowd, mela police used bamboo barricading at Rodiwala sector for crowd management. Traffic was also diverted on Delhi-Haridwar highway till Monday afternoon.
“We used bamboo barricading for about two hours to crowd management when devotees suddenly increased at Har ki Pauri and nearby banks. We used one way route plan to reach Har Ki pauri but after 2 pm we opened the upper route also for reaching Har ki Pauri,” Inspector General of mela police, GS Martoliya said.