Mahakumbh 2021 expected to peak with 1st Shahi Snan on March 11
The first Shahi Snan or special dip of Mahakumbh 2021 will be held on March 11. All the Akhadas will arrive before the first Shahi Snaan, resulting in peak participation of lakhs of seers, naga sanyasis and ascetics at the time during the four-month long Haridwar event.
Officially, Mahakumbh will begin from January 1, 2021, as has been the precedent, with the whole Haridwar district coming under Kumbhmela administration purview. But this time, due to covid-19 spread, Akhil Bharatiya Akhada Parishad is of the view that owing to the timing of Shahi Snaan, which holds the foremost importance during Kumbh, the religious gathering should be considered to have begun from March 11 onwards.
The second Shahi Snan falls on the occasion of Somvati Amavasya (April 12) and the third on Baisakhi Mesh Poornima on April 14. The last festive bath of Mahakumbh 2021 will be on April 27 on the occasion of Chaitra Poornima.
In all, there will be six festive baths and three Shahi Snaans during the four-month-long period of the 2021-Mahakumbh fair.
Akhil Bharatiya Akhada Parishad president Mahant Narendra Giri said that “officially though Mahakumbh begins from January 1 and will conclude on April 28, but as the Shahi Snan falls on March 11, April 12 and April 14, we are deeming Mahakumbh to actually begin form from Maha Shivratri”.
“For normal pilgrims and devotees, Mahakumbh begins from January 1 onwards with the first festive bath of Mahakumbh to be held on Makar Sankranti (January 14),” said Giri.
Mela officer-in-charge Deepak Rawat said that as of now preparations are in full swing and by December this year, all the work of a permanent nature will get completed focus will be on raising works and facilities of temporary nature.
Ganga Sabha president Pradeep Jha pointed that from January 1 itself, there will be a rise in the number of pilgrims arriving, and by the first festive bath of Makar Sankranti, the Kumbh fervour will grip the sacred city.
“Shahi Snaans are of immense spiritual and religious importance during Kumbh fair when all the Shankaracharyas, Akhadas, Mahamandaleshwar, pontiffs, naga sanyasis, saints and pilgrims arrive from across the country and foreign shores to take a holy dip in the Ganga.
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