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Haridwar comes alive with old and new events

C K Chandramohan

Various akharas take out procession

HARIDWAR: The holy city of Haridwar came alive with Vedic chants, ringing of temple bells and blowing of conch shells as the Somwati Amavasya was born around midnight on Sunday. This was followed by a large number of devout Hindus from across the country taking holy dips or watching processions of various Akharas moving in royal style for the Shahi Snan in the Brahmkund at Har-Ki-Paudi throughout Monday.

For pilgrims like Savitri Naidu of Guntur, Santhanam of Mahabalipuram, Gurmukh Singh of Jalandhar, Ravinder Sharma of Jammu, Sujata Mukherjee of Berhampur and many others, who had made it a point to celebrate the Somwati Amavasya at Har-Ki-Paudi this year, the whole thing evoked a divine feeling.

Equally significant was the large number of women sanyasins from various sects performing puja.

“Hinduism is moving forward and we believe the woman power is divine”, said Achyutanand Swami of Varanasi.

The day also saw women performing ‘parikramas' of the Peepal tree to ensure long life, happiness and bliss for their husbands and other family members.

The religious fervour apart, businessmen were a happy lot with almost every enterprise making good business. “The market was dull so far but we hope the rush will continue from today”, observed Sudhir Singh who runs a consumers items-cum-puja and gifts shop near Lehartara Bridge.

The police seemed extra vigilant, but courteous. Each one was frisked. Boys and girls in uniform were all over to guide the pilgrims.

Uttarakhand Chief Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank' who has been taking holy dips as a commoner wished the people a happy New Year beginning Tuesday. “Special instructions have been issued to ensure peace and safety so that the pilgrims enjoy the visit and return with pleasant memories”, he told The Hindu.