Around four lakh pilgrims took dip in the icy water of Ganga River on the occasion of the first bath of the biggest human confluence – Kumbh Mela- that commenced in Haridwar today.
Amid the chanting of ‘Har-Har Mahadev’ pilgrims mostly from Uttarakhand, Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab and Nepal arrived in the temple town. “The numbers of pilgrims is expected to reach 10 lakh by Friday morning” told Anand Vardhan, mela in charge of Kumbh to Hindustan Times. Bardhan claimed 4-5 lakh pilgrims had already took dip in the Ganga by 9 am.
Infact after Wednesday’s cloudy and cold weather, administration was apprehensive about the number of pilgrims and were expecting that weather could dampen the mood. Nevertheless, these apprehensions altered as Haridwar witnessed sunny morning. “The nice weather has brought cheers on the face of pilgrims and administration” Vardhan added.
The first snan (bath) of Kumbh falls today on Makar Sankranti and the second important snan (bath) will be held tomorrow on Mauni Amavasya. The Mela that will end on April 28 is expected to attract 5-6 crores (50-60 millions) pilgrims in the next four months.
One of the group of pilgrims from Nepal to whom HT interacted with said they visit Haridwar on every Kumbh. “At least one member from every house comes to Kumbh” asserted Inder Badadur Deupa from Datal Dhura village in Mahakali Anchal some 500 kilometers from Haridwar.