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Thursday, January 04, 2007
Ardh Kumbh in Allahabad
70 million expected to take holy dip in the Ganges

All roads lead to Allahabad as the Ardh Kumbh is here. The largest confluence of devotees will see close to 70 million people coming together over the next six weeks for a dip in the holy Ganges. The mission is to wash away their sins.

The event happening in the next six week period in Allahabad is the Ardh Kumbh Mela. This festival falls midway between the Maha Kumbh Mela celebrated once in every 12 years.

Hindus believe that taking a holy dip in the Ganges during the festivals cleanses devotees of sin and accelerate their path toward nirvana.

Orgnaisers have said that millions of devotees from around the country and abroad are expected to visit Allahabad through the 42-day event. Of these 42 days, seven of them carry special privileges and crowds are expected to be more on these days. The opening day on January 3 is expected to draw about five million people. However the biggest crowds of around 25 million people will be seen on Mauni Amavasya day, which falls on January 19.

The government machinery is hands full with the work on making arrangements and ensuring logistics., he said. Managing people and amenities at the site of the holy confluence of the Ganges, the Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati will be the biggest task the government wuld be undertaking at the start of the new year.

Records reveal that the Maha Kumbh Mela of 1989 had attracted 15 million devotees. The confluence made its entry into the Guinness Book of Records for being the largest gathering of human beings with a single mission. The numbers were bettered by the festival in 2001 which drew around 70 million pilgrims.

According to old experts and old timers, Allahabad holds the distinction of being right at the centre of the earth and rays of the sun fall directly on this spot and generate unique minerals in the water at the holy sangam.

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posted by a correspondent @ 1:58 AM    
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