60L take dip in Ganges on Somvati Amavasya

Nearly 60L pilgrims took a holy dip in river Ganges on the occasion of Somvati Amavasya.

Updated: Mar 16, 2010, 00:08 AM IST

Haridwar: Nearly 60 lakh pilgrims today
took a holy dip in river Ganges here on the occasion of Somvati
Amavasya, which also witnessed Mahakumbh`s second royal bath
involving sadhus belonging all the 13 Akharas (sects).

Akhara members reached the Har-Ki-Pauri, the
main bathing ghat, in colourful processions as thousands of
pilgrims and followers lined the roads with folded hands.

The procession of Joona Akhara saw huge flags and
nearly 10,000 Naga Sadhus.

Somvati Amavasya or a no moon day falling on a Monday
is considered auspicious according to Hindu calender. This was
the first bath during the ongoing Mahakumbh when Sadhus of all
the 13 Akharas took a dip in river Ganga.

Nearly 60 lakh pilgrims including Sadhus took holy dip
on the occassion of Somvati Amavasya in Kumbh area, said Kumbh
Mela officer Anand Vardhan.

The nearly 15-km-long ghat in Haridwar and Rishikesh
was flooded with devottes since last midnight.

Elaborate security arrangements were made for today`s
`shahi snan` or royal bath where the sadhus are given priority
access to the river.

The bath passed off peacefully and no untoward incident
was reported from anywhere, Vardhan said.

The third and fourth royal baths would be held on Mar
30 (Chaitra Purnima) and Apr 14 (Mesh Sankranti) respectively.

There will be 11 baths, including 4 royal baths,
during the three-month long Mahakumbh that began on Jan 14
(Makar Sankranti) this year.