Haridwar: Bone-chilling cold wave coupled
with heavy fog on Wednesday played a dampener at the Maha Kumbh here
with only a few thousand devotees taking the holy bath on the
occasion of Basant Panchami, the third auspicious day in the
three-month-long holy congregation.
The main bathing ghat of `Har Ki Pauri` wore an almost
deserted look during the morning hours and witnessed activity
only after noon when the sun`s rays cut through the fog
Even the kite enthusiasts who confined themselves to
their houses initially came out only after the chilly wind
subsided. The scene after that was of a blue clear sky alive
with multi-coloured kites -- huge and small.
The `ghats` were almost empty early morning with
security personnel seen more in number than the devotees.
Basant Panchmi marks the beginning of spring and is
also a day dedicated to Saraswati, the goddess of learning.
The day is celebrated by taking a dip in rivers and flying
The Kumbh mela administration, which had expected a
much bigger turnout especially those from states having
agriculture as their mainstay, and nearby areas, attributed
the turnout to the cold snap.