Mauni Amavasya is the most significant bathing day of the mega event
Over three crore pilgrims are expected to take a dip at the Maha Kumbh Mela here on Sunday on the occasion of Mauni Amavasya, the most significant bathing day of the mega event. The day marks the second Shahi snan (royal bath) of this mela; the first was the Makar Sankranti snan on January 14.
The Mauni Amavasya is considered the most auspicious of all the bathing days and is by far the biggest. Mauni is derived from the word Muni, literally meaning an ascetic who practises silence.
Twenty-two ghats, spread across 14 sectors, including 12 on the north of the Ganga and with a total length of 18,000 feet, are in place for the snan.
The Shaivaite akharas, beginning with the Maha Nirvani and Atal Akharas would be the first to move towards the Sangam ghat in the early hours of Sunday. They would be followed by the Niranjani, Anand, Juna, Awahan and Agni akharas.
The Vairagi akharas come next with the Nirmohi, Digambar Ani and Nirvani Ani akharas queueing up, and then the two Udasin Akharas, the Naya Udasin Panchayati and the Bada Udasin Panchayati akharas.
The Nirmala akhara will bring to a close the Shahi snan, which is scheduled to start at 6.15 a.m. and expected to last till 5 p.m. The akharas have been allotted 30 minutes to 1 hour for the snan.
Amid elaborate security arrangements, which includes CCTVs, video screens and helicopters, the city received a fresh rush of pilgrims on Saturday. Senior Superintendent of Police Kumbh Mela R.K.S Rathore said around one crore pilgrims had already entered the mela and the number was expected to rise further.
The administration was fully prepared to handle the crowd and the security personnel were instructed to maintain cordial behaviour with the pilgrims, Mr. Rathore said. Referring to complaints and concerns over cleanliness of the Ganga, Kumbh Mela District Magistrate Mani Prasad Mishra admitted that some “limitations” had crept in over the past few days but they would be dealt with in time for the snan.