Scores descend on Ujjain to take bath at month-long Kumbh Mela

World Friday 22/April/2016 17:13 PM
By: Times News Service
Scores descend on Ujjain to take bath at month-long Kumbh Mela

Ujjain (Madhya Pradesh): Braving scorching heat, a multitude of people took bath at Ramghat in Shipra river in Ujjain on the opening day of the month-long Simhastha-Kumbh mela (fair).
People drawn from different parts of the country and abroad are taking part in the Kumbh mela, one of the largest congregations of humans in India.
"I am overwhelmed to be part of this awesome human gathering. I came here since yesterday (Thursday)," George Sauuahq, a Frenchman told PTI.
He said that he has come to India with a group of 12 persons from Paris.
"We made a point to stand witness to this mega event after coming to know about it," he said as he scrambled to shoot photos of the seers in different hues and attires at Ramghat.
Wheelchair-bound Tervani Devi (76) and her husband Durga Prasad (82) came to Shipra, that has been revived by pumping in the Narmada water, for the occasion, to take a dip, all the way from Hyderabad.
Tervani said that she was delighted after taking the bath.
Congress General Secretary Digvijay Singh also took a bath at Gaughat on the opening day of the Simhastha.
At around 8.15am a stampede like situation was witnessed at Chhoti Pool area at the entrance of Ramghat when large number of seers in processions descended for the bath.
However, the situation was brought under control by the authorities swiftly.
Bada Udasin Akhara Pontiff Raghu Muni Maharaj along with others squatted at Ramghat for a while and protested against the vehicular traffic in the fair area.
He said that the vehicular traffic was obstructing seers' way to the ghat. However, he lifted his protest after government officials intervene.
Earlier, the Kumbh mela kicked off with Naga seers of Juna Akhara venturing into the river around 5am. Their head, Avdheshnandji Maharaj, who came in a huge procession took the bath amid tight security arrangements.
"As of now, all things are going on smoothly. Around 25,000 security personnel including central forces have been deployed to conduct the bath, Inspector General of Police, Ujjain, Madhu Kumar told PTI at Ramghat at noon.
Meanwhile, lakhs of people thronged the roads leading to the ghats of Shipra river and waiting in serpentine queues to take the bath during the fair which is being held after a gap of 12 years.
"Over 50 million pilgrims are expected to visit Ujjain and other places during the Kumbh, for which elaborate security and logistical arrangements have been made," Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan had said last evening on the eve of the mela at Bhopal.