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.
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.
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.
The Naga Sadhus have the first right to take a dip at the holy confluence.
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.
Kumbh is the largest religious and spiritual congregation on the earth and is declared as ‘intangible cultural heritage’ by UNESCO.
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.