Over 40 lakh take dip at Sangam on Makar Sankranti
Around 40 lakh Hindu devout Tuesday took a holy dip in the holy Ganga at the Sangam - the point where the Ganga, the Yamuna and the mystical Saraswati meet in Allahabad, according to official estimates.
Hundreds congregated at the banks of the Sangam since day break and the bathing continued till late in the evening.
The bathing also kick-started the month-long Magh Mela.
Hundreds of temporary sheds and camps have come up on the sandy banks of the Ganga and the devotees will remain for a month under "Kalpawas" where they will live a simple, austere lives, cook for themselves and sleep on the floor, while remaining cut off from their families.
The holy baths would take place Paush Poornima (Jan 16), Mauni Amavasya (Jan 30), Basant Panchami (Feb 4), Maghi Poornima (Feb 14) and Maha Shivratri (Feb 27).
Allahabad District Magistrate Raj Shekhar told IANS the administration is geared up for the influx of lakhs of pilgrims and tourists.
"Twelve pucca ghats have been constructed at the Sangam on an area of 2,000 square feet which will be increased to 3,200 square feet on Maghi Poornima," he said.
While 1,200 boats would help people to take bath, 11 police stations, 31 police outposts and 12 fire stations would aid in crowd management and people's safety.
(Posted on 15-01-2014)