Devotees brave cold weather, fog to take holy dip | india | Hindustan Times
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Devotees brave cold weather, fog to take holy dip

Little distance from the coveted Har ki pauri ghat, are a series of ghats at a gap of every 500 metres along the Ganga thronged by tourists and devotees. On the third main "snan" of Kumbh which marked the Basant festival or festival of spring, thousands of devotees braved foggy conditions and severe cold to take a dip in the Ganga at the various ghats.

india Updated: Feb 12, 2010 19:38 IST

Little distance from the coveted Har ki pauri ghat, are a series of ghats at a gap of every 500 metres along the Ganga thronged by tourists and devotees. On the third main "snan" of Kumbh which marked the Basant festival or festival of spring, thousands of devotees braved foggy conditions and severe cold to take a dip in the Ganga at the various ghats.

Till noon on Wednesday, the foggy weather restricted the flow of pilgrims for the snan. An estimated four lakh people have congregated in Haridwar, coming in on train, buses and private vehicles for Basant Panchami.

According to Hindu Lunar calendar on account of Adhika mas (an extra month) falling this year, Basant Panchmi signalling the start of spring has come much before than usual. Normally, the festival falls in the month of February.

."Just a week before we had Sankranti snan and now Basant is here. Is there some miscalculation amongst the gods? Where are the buzzing bees and the smiling penzies in this misty weather,” wondered a puzzled youngster shivering after a dip in the ice-cold waters.

“Even California is not so cold as this Haridwar city”, said Veena Mehta, an NRI from Los Angeles who dared not to step into the water. She sprinkled a few drops of Ganga water instead to cleanse her soul.

Fog continued to hang for the better part of the day. Kumbh Mela officials, pestered by media for crowd estimates, were blaming the weather for a relatively poorer turn out than expected.

“Abhi dhoop to nikalney do , tabhi to kuch bheedh badhegi” (let the sun come out, then only things will begin to move), they said, responding to queries from media persons.