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Festival of Sanatan: Spectacular images of the first Shani Snan at the Kumbh Mela 2019

The Kumbh Mela is believed to be the largest religious gathering on earth and alternates between Nasik, Prayagraj (previously Allahabad), Ujjain, and Haridwar every three years. The one held in Prayagraj comes in every 12 years and is considered the holiest of them all.

The Kumbh Mela began today with the Shahi Snan as lakhs of devotees took a dip in the Sangam, the confluence of Ganga, Yamuna and the now extinct Saraswati rivers.

First Shahi Snan of Kumbh 2019

All the 13 recognised akharas will reach the Sangam led by the Naga Sadhus who have the first right to take a dip at the holy confluence.

People participating in the Shahi Snan

As many as 12 million people are expected to take part in the first Shahi Snan today at the Kumbh which will last for seven weeks. Taking a dip at the Sangam cleanses the body and soul and frees one from the unending cycle of life nad birth.

Naga Sadhus on their way to the Sangam

The Naga Sadhus have the first right to take a dip at the holy confluence.

Naga Sadhu taking a selfie

The other Shahi Snans will be Mauni Amavasya on February 4 and Basant Panchami on February 10 besides important bathing occasions of Poush Purnima on January 21, Maghi Purnima on February 19 and Mahashivratri on March 4.

First Shahi Snan of Kumbh 2019

Kumbh is the largest religious and spiritual congregation on the earth and is declared as ‘intangible cultural heritage’ by UNESCO.

Naga Sadhu on their way for the first dip at the Sangam

The Kumbh Mela is believed to be the largest religious gathering on earth and alternates between Nasik, Prayagraj (previously Allahabad), Ujjain, and Haridwar every three years. The one held in Prayagraj comes in every 12 years and is considered the holiest of them all.

Images credit: All images sourced from Twitter handle of Doordarshan, PIB India and official Twitter account of Prayagraj Kumbh.

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