The 'Shahi Snan' by ascetics of 'Akharas' got off to a colourful start on Monday morning at the Ardh Kumbh in Allahabad with the Mahanirvani Akhara taking the first dip amidst tight security.
A procession of ascetics belonging to the Akhara reached the confluence of the Ganga, Yamuna and mythical Saraswati at 6.15 am and took their dips for about 40 minutes.
The highlight of the procession were the Naga Sadhus, the ash-smeared warrior ascetics, who attracted public attention, carrying traditional weapons and playing devotional tunes on musical instruments.
They were followed by the Niranjani and Anand Akharas, both of whose members reached the ghats at around 7 am.
The ritual dip was also taken by the Naga ascetics of the Joona, Awahan and Agnirin, all of whom were alloted 40 minutes for their bath.
The Awahan had yesterday decided to boycott the Shahi Snan over differences with the Joona, but joined the bath after they were sorted out.
Security along the procession routes and at the bathing sites was tight and access to the 'Sangam' from the side of the Ganga was reserved for ascetics, nearly eight lakhs of whom are camping at the mela site.