Allahabad: Unusually heavy winter rains have forced thousands of pilgrims here to abandon the make-shift city of tents that had come up in view of the annual religious congregation of Magh Mela.
The district has received 148 mm of rainfall in the last 10 days, the highest for the winter season in the last few decades.
The downpour has inundated vast tracts of land near the confluence of rivers Ganga and Yamuna where pilgrims had been putting up for the month-long ritual of "Kalpvaas".
Thousands of pilgrims, who were supposed to stay here till the last bathing festival of "Magh Purnima" on February 14, have vacated their tents in the last couple of days as the Magh Mela area has become uninhabitable on account of the water-logging.
Although the administration has made alternative arrangements for the pilgrims at public places in the city, most of them have chosen to return home due to disappointment over the "Sangam" becoming out of bounds, officials said.
Meanwhile, the weather has resulted in a spurt in complaints of respiratory problems, official sources said, adding several children with symptoms of pneumonia have been admitted to the Children`s Hospital in the city over the weekend.
As a precautionary measure, the district administration has ordered closure of all schools till tomorrow.