Kumbh Mela 2019: Chopper welcomes devotees with flower petals in Prayagraj. Watch Video

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Updated: January 15, 2019 2:18:01 PM

Kumbh Mela 2019: The chopper showers flower petals on the Kumbh Mela devotees as part of the authority's plan to welcome them in a unique way.

Kumbh Mela 2019: Juna Sadhus take a holy dip at Sangam during Makar Sankranti, on the first day of the Kumbh Mela in Prayagraj. (PTI Photo)

Kumbh Mela 2019: On the opening day of the mega event, the Uttar Pradesh government has pressed a chopper into service to welcome the guests at the Kumbh Mela venue in Prayagraj. The chopper showers flower petals on the Kumbh Mela devotees as part of the authority’s plan to welcome them in a unique way.

This year, around 12 crore people are expected to visit Kumbh Mela, the largest congregation in the world, that began today with the first Shahi Snan. At the break of dawn, chants of ‘Har Har Gange’ reached its crescendo as lakhs of devotees and religious leaders congregated at the Sangam for a ritual dip on Tuesday, marking the beginning of the Kumbh Mela.

The confluence of the rivers Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati has called out to the religious for centuries and Makar Sankranti, which marks the beginning of the festival, is considered to be one of the sacred bathing days of the 50-day Kumbh Mela.

Read | Kumbh Mela 2019: Weather mobile app launched for pilgrims

Kumbh Mela devotees have been braving the cold weather to take a dip in the icy river water. Sadhus of 13 akharas (seven Shaiva, three Vaishnava, two Udasina, and one Sikh) who have traditionally participated in the Kumbh Mela were the first to take the holy bath known as ‘Shahi Snan’.

The order of holy dip by various akharas is pre-determined. It started with Mahanirvani along with the Atal akhara, the Niranjani along with the Ananada Akhara, and the Juna along with the Avahana and Agni akharas. They are followed by Nirvani akhara, Digambara akhara, Nirmohi akhara, Bada Udasin akhara, Naya Udasin akhara and lastly by the lone Sikh akhara called Nirmal akhara.

The march of Naga sadhus attracted eye-balls of one and all, especially the foreigners.

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