Haridwar overflows with pilgrims on last day of Maha KumbhApril 28th, 2010 - 5:54 pm ICT by IANS
Haridwar (Uttarakhand), April 28 (IANS) A sea of pilgrims converged here Wednesday to take a holy dip in the revered Ganga on the occasion of Vaisakh Aadhimaas that marks the end of one of the largest religious gatherings in the world - the Maha Kumbh.
On Vaisakh Aadhimaas, which is the last full moon of the Maha Kumbh Mela that began Jan 14, officials expect nearly 10 lakh devotees to participate in the religious fair.
“As per reports reaching us, around 7 lakh devotees have taken a holy dip till noon Wednesday. Taking this into account, we expect another 3 lakh devotees to participate in the religious gathering till midnight,” an official of the Mela Organising Committee told IANS.
While almost all the banks along the Ganga river remained abuzz with activity, Brahmakund or Har-ki-Pauri, which is deemed the most revered bank, drew the maximum devotees, who offered payers and conducted other rituals after taking the holy dip.
Unlike the past when the Brahmakund was reserved for members of various akhadas (sects), there were no such restrictions this time and devotees were allowed take a holy dip there.
“Earlier, on important bathing days, particularly the four Shahi Snans (royal bath), the Brahmakund was reserved from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. for the religious sects. But, with no restrictions imposed today (Wednesday), devotees started converging at the Brahmakund since midnight yesterday for the holy dip,” the official said.
According to Hindu mythology, it is believed that taking a dip in the Ganga, particularly during the Maha Kumbh, purifies people of sin and paves the way for the attainment of salvation.
Haridwar is one of the four places where a drop of the nectar of immortality or ‘amrit’ fell from the pitcher or ‘kumbh’ when Garuda, the divine bird of Lord Vishnu, was spiriting it away from the demons after a pitched battle.
Since then, Haridwar along with Allahabad, Nashik and Ujjain, have been celebrating the Kumbh Mela.
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Tags: devotees, full moon, ganga river, har, hindu mythology, holy dip, immortality, kumbh mela, lakh, lord vishnu, maha kumbh mela, nashik, organising committee, overflows, pauri, pilgrims, pitched battle, religious gatherings, religious sects, ujjain