Millions of pilgrims take the holy dip on Kumbh Mela’s most auspicious day

India News Bulletin Desk

As many as 30 million devotees took a dip in the holy river of Ganges on Sunday, February 10, the most auspicious bathing day in the Maha Kumbh Mela event called the Mauni Amavasya Snan.

Devotees at Ganges for Maha Kumbh Mela's Mauni Amavasya Snan
Image: YouTube still

Many sadhus -- Hindu religious devotees – smeared in ash and bare-bodied headed to the banks of Ganges at the crack of dawn on Sunday to dip in the holy water and wash away their sins.

The most auspicious day of Kumbh Mela also marks the busiest day for India’s police authorities, social workers and volunteers. More than 7,000 police personnel have been deployed around Allahabad in northern India to oversee the bathing ritual, according to reports. There are as many as 30,000 volunteers deployed and many makeshift tents and hospitals on the site.

In order to accommodate the millions expected in Allahabad, several police checkpoints, drinking water facilities and toilets have been set up. This year, the authorities have made new arrangements such as CCTV systems as well as temporary roads and bridges.

Maha Kumbh Mela's most auspicious day - Sunday Feb 10
Image: YouTube still

According to a BBC report, up to 100 million pilgrims are likely to bathe in the holy waters of Ganga, Yamuna and the mythical river Saraswati during the 55-day Maha Kumbh Mela 2013 event between January and February.

Kumbh Mela takes place once in 12 years in Allahabad and lasts for two months but this year’s mela is called Maha Kumbh Mela as it only occurs only after 12 purna kumbhas – that is once every 144 years. Maha Kumbh Mela is considered as the most auspicious festival in Hindu religion.

The Kumbh Mela, which attracts millions of foreign tourists, is expected to generate 120bn rupees with India spending about 11bn rupees or £130m.

The 2013 Kumbh Mela will end on March 10 with the Shivratri Snan.

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