Magh Mela-2024: Preparations complete in Prayagraj, Paush Purnima bathing today - Hindustan Times
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Magh Mela-2024: Preparations complete in Prayagraj, Paush Purnima bathing today

By, Prayagraj
Jan 24, 2024 07:59 PM IST

Around 30 lakh pilgrims are expected to brave the winter chill and fog to take the dip scheduled for Thursday

Pilgrims started arriving in large numbers on the eve of the Paush Purnima dip, the second bathing day of the ongoing 54-day annual Magh Mela.

Pilgrims arriving on the eve of Paush Purnima snan in Prayagraj. (Anil Kumar Maurya/HT)
Pilgrims arriving on the eve of Paush Purnima snan in Prayagraj. (Anil Kumar Maurya/HT)

Around 30 lakh pilgrims are expected to brave the winter chill and fog to take the dip scheduled for Thursday that would also mark the formal start of month-long Kalpvas or austerity during which thousands would camp for a month on the banks of Sangam in tents.

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“All preparations are complete from our side,” said Mela Adhikari Dayanand Prasad.

As part of the preparations, all ghats were cleaned in the Mela area during the day on Wednesday. A sanitation drive was also conducted at the ghats and officers of the irrigation department and the Mela administration remained active throughout the day.

The Mela administration has set up 10 bathing ghats for the convenience of pilgrims. Also, police posts are being constructed near the ghats for added security. Apart from this, night shelters have been set up at three main bathing days, which will have the capacity to accommodate 2,500 devotees.

The Kalpvas lasts from the 11th day of the Hindu month of Paush till the 12th day of Magh month —a period during which the pilgrims (Kalpvasis) who take the pledge— camp on the chilly banks of the Sangam in tents devoting themselves to religious activities strictly and bathing thrice in the cold but sacred waters of the Ganga, practising the principles of patience, non-violence and devotion, besides austerity during which even meals are taken only once a day. This tradition needs to be followed for 12 years non-stop for the pledge to be fulfilled. This year, the Kalpwas will start from Paush Purnima on January 25 and conclude on Maghi Purnima on February 24.

According to astrologers, the auspicious timing for bathing on Paush Purnima will begin just before sunrise on Thursday and last the whole day. “Pilgrims and seers will be able to take the holy dip and perform rituals and make donations from before sunrise to sunset,” said Pt Diwakar Tripathi Purvanchali, director of Utthan Jyotish Sansthan, Prayagraj.

Paush Purnima has a great religious significance in Hindu religion. According to the Hindu Scriptures, Pausha Purnima is considered an auspicious day when the divine rays of the moon fall on earth. On this day, devotees observe a fast and offer prayers to Lord Vishnu. People visit various holy places such as Haridwar, Rishikesh and Prayagraj to take a holy bath in the sacred river on this day, Pt Pt Diwakar Tripathi Purvanchali explained.

Lord Surya is also worshipped on Paush Purnima day and people offer Arghya to Lord Surya. It is believed that by offering prayers to Lord Surya, one can get power and energy. This day is considered special to worship Lord Surya and Lord Moon on the same day. Lord Moon and Lord Surya fulfill all wishes of devotees who worship them with utmost devotion and dedication, he added.

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