60 lakh pilgrims, sadhus take dip in Ganga | india | Hindustan Times
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60 lakh pilgrims, sadhus take dip in Ganga

india Updated: Mar 15, 2010 20:10 IST

Nearly 60 lakh pilgrims on Monday took a holy dip in river Ganga in Haridwar on the occasion of Somvati Amavasya, which also witnessed Mahakumbh's second royal bath involving sadhus belonging all the 13 Akharas (sects).

Akhara members reached the Har-Ki-Pauri, the main bathing ghat, in colourful processions as thousands of pilgrims and followers lined the roads with folded hands.

The procession of Joona Akhara saw huge flags and nearly 10,000 Naga Sadhus.

Somvati Amavasya or a no moon day falling on Monday is considered auspicious according to Hindu calender. This was the first bath during the ongoing Mahakumbh when Sadhus of all the 13 Akharas took a dip in river Ganga.

Nearly 60 lakh pilgrims including Sadhus took holy dip on the occassion of Somvati Amavasya in Kumbh area, said Kumbh Mela officer Anand Vardhan.

The nearly 15-km-long ghat in Haridwar and Rishikesh was flooded with devottes since last midnight.

Elaborate security arrangements were made for today's 'shahi snan' or royal bath where the sadhus are given priority access to the river.

The bath passed off peacefully and no untoward incident was reported from anywhere, Vardhan said.

The third and fourth royal baths would be held on Mar 30 (Chaitra Purnima) and Apr 14 (Mesh Sankranti) respectively.

There will be 11 baths, including 4 royal baths, during the three-month long Mahakumbh that began on Jan 14 (Makar Sankranti) this year.