Around 45 lakh devotees took a holy dip at the Triveni Sangam here on Sunday on the festival of Paush Purnima. This was the second ritual bathing during the Maha Kumbh Mela 2013; the first was the Makar Sankranti Shahi Snan (royal bath) on January 14.

No untoward incidents were reported on the day, according to Divisional Commissioner Devesh Chaturvedi.

The snan began in the early hours of Sunday even as thousands of devotees continued to pour into the Sangam area. Though the devotees had to cover most of the distance on foot, some restrictions on vehicular movement were relaxed in the city.

The day also marked the commencement of Kalpwas, the month-long period of austerity undertaken by devotees known as Kalpwasis, who live a minimalistic life on the banks of the Sangam. The Kalpwas is undertaken by devotees each year during the month of Magh. They believe that living in flimsy tents, listening to discourses, giving alms, mostly eating only once a day and performing ritual baths daily free them of the cycle of birth, death and rebirth (moksha), and karma.

The administration expects around 20 lakh Kalpwasis to live on the banks of the Sangam this year. Around 100 million devotees are estimated to visit the 55-day mela.

The next bathing day, the Mauni Amavasya Shahi Snan on February 10, is expected to attract around 4 crore pilgrims.

Meanwhile, eight persons who were critically injured in Friday’s fire at the Kumbh ground were admitted to the Safdarjung Hospital in Delhi on Saturday.

They had earlier been shifted to the Swarup Rani Nehru Hospital here for specialised treatment. A leakage in an LPG cylinder reportedly caused the fire, which injured at least 17 persons and gutted several tents on Friday. The administration has circulated a list of precautions against fire for the safety of the pilgrims, said Kumbh Mela District Magistrate Mani Prasad Mishra.

A minor fire broke out at a camp in sector 5 of the mela on Sunday evening. However, sector magistrate Bhairav Deen Gupta said the fire was quickly doused before any damage could be done. Nobody suffered any injuries.A LPG cylinder leakage is believed to have triggered the fire, Mr. Gupta said.

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