Allahabad: More than 15 lakh devotees thronged the confluence of Ganga, Yamuna and mythical Saraswati here on Wednesday to take holy dip on the auspicious occasion of Maghi Purnima, the last bathing festival of Magh mela.
Devotees began pouring in at the holy Sangam where the annual religious congregation of Magh Mela is also underway, since the crack of dawn.
According to officials, nearly 15 lakh devotees had taken a holy dip till 1700 hrs and the number may increase till night when the ritual bathing for the day gets over. For the bathing rituals 15 Ghats were prepared within 12,350 sq ft area, they added. Stringent security measures are in place at Magh Mela area where CCTv cameras and drone cameras have been installed at various points and three additional district magistrates and eight sub-divisional magistrates along with local police, Provincial Armed Constabulary and UP Anti-Terrorism Squad were deployed.
No untoward incident was reported during the bathing festival so far. Trained divers have been deployed at the holy confluence as well as at the Ghats along the two rivers to deal with any eventuality.
The month-long ritual of 'Kalpvaas' completed today during the period devotees lived in tent houses near Sangam and observed various austerities. Many of them will leave the Mela place after taking holy dip but several will take bath during first lunar eclipse of the year and they will leave tomorrow.
Lunar eclipse will be more special because for the first time in 152 years, a supermoon (when the moon is unusually closer to earth), a blue moon (a second full moon in a calendar month) and a blood moon (a moment during an eclipse when the moon turns red) will coincide. Lunar eclipse or Chandra Grahan, popularly known as in India is one of the biggest astronomical events. Long ques of devotees were seen outside various temples situated in the vicinity of the Sangam and near the bank of Ganga and Yamuna. Many of them performed rituals after taking holy dip like donating calf and grains to Brahmins there. UNI