Lakhs take holy dip as 'Maha Kumbh' begins

Jan 15 2013, 12:33 IST
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SummaryA sea of humanity converged for the religious event dubbed as the 'greatest show on earth'.

same order.

Meanwhile, according to a research scholar of Allahabad University, Pramod Sharma, a team of the varsity and Harvard University will document the past, the ongoing activities and future plans of these akharas and its findings will be

published in a book funded by Arundhati Vashishth Anusandhan Peeth of the city.

The team comprises 10 students of Allahabad University and five of Harvard who will join the team on January 19.

Almost all the hotels in the city have hiked their tariffs by 100 to 300 per cent because of heavy influx of people.

The state tourism department has set up luxurious cottages in the Mela area itself in which a night's stay costs between Rs 6,000 and Rs 12,000, according to a senior manager in the tourism department, D P Singh.

"On days other than the shahi snan, there will be a 40 per cent discount on the tariff of the tents", he said.

Private players have also set up Swiss cottages outside the Mela area where a night¿s stay costs about Rs 8,500.

A small hamlet of huts and tents has been set up in the Sector 9 of the Mela area where family members of those who laid down their lives in the Kargil conflict or were killed in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack will stay.

"A 'yajnashala' with 'havan kunds' has also been set up there to perform 'yajna' for the peace of the martyrs¿ souls", according to Balak Jogeshwar Dasji Maharaj of Badrinath who is managing the affairs at the hamlet.

Railways have run special trains on the day besides attaching additional bogies to other trains touching the city, officials in the North Central Railway zone, headquartered here, said.

Roadways operators have also pressed a large number of buses into service. Most of the roads in the city have been closed to vehicular traffic to facilitate movement of people to the Mela ground.

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