TNI Bureau: The Maha Kumbh Mela – the biggest gathering on the earth, which occurs once in 12 years, has begun in Allahabad in the wee hours today. Around 1.1 crore devotees are expected to take the holy dip. 30 lakh devotees have already taken the dip by 9 AM today.
Sadhus from various Akharas have started taking the dip in Triveni Sangam – the “confluence” of three rivers, Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati. In addition, separate arrangements have been made for the common people. Tight security arrangements have been made throughout Allahabad in the wake of security threat and escalated tensions between India and Pakistan.
The Maha Kumbh began on the auspicious day of Makar Sankranti today. It will go on for the next two months and end on Maha Shivratri on March 10. The last Maha Kumbh was held in 2001.
Large crowds are expected this year on the occasion of Mauni Amavasya (February 10) and Basant Panchmi (February 15), which may see a surge of devotees who will descend on Triveni Sangam to take a holy dip.