The fourth official bathing, which commenced as per the ‘Muhurat’ beginning 8.54 am on Saturday, witnessed devotees taking the holy dip all through Saturday also. The auspicious time lasted till 9.54 am on Sunday. About 1.50 crore people had taken dip till 3 pm. Close to 50 lakh devotees had already taken dip before sunrise. Around a crore devotees had taken the holy dip in Sangam on Saturday.
He also said that all ‘akhadas’ had completed the shahi snan (royal bath).
The fourth official bathing, which commenced as per the ‘Muhurat’ beginning 8.54 am on Saturday, witnessed devotees taking the holy dip all through Saturday also. The auspicious time lasted till 9.54 am on Sunday.
On Sunday morning from 6.15 am onwards all 13 akhadas arrived for the holy dip through the especially reserved ‘Akhada Marg’ and took the plunge into cold Sangam waters. The first Akhada to take the holy dip was Shri Panchayati Akhada Mahanirvani and Shri Panchayati Atal Akhada followed by other akhadas. The last to take the dip was Shri Panchayati Akhada Nirmal at 3.40pm.
The entire Kumbh Mela area wore an illuminated look, mesmerizing the devotees. Some enthusiasts stopped to click selfies with an illuminated mela area in the background. Most of the devotees could be seen carrying water of the Ganga in bottles.
As the number of visitors started going up, senior police officials were heard issuing instructions to the devotees to take a specific exit route, and finish the bathing formality, so that other devotees could also take a holy dip. Kumbh Mela police used gas balloons as an indicator to the public thronging the mela area to locate the lost and found centres run by it.
Choppers were also used for aerial monitoring of the Kumbh mela area.
“Basant Panchami is the third and the last shahi snaan of the Kumbh. By taking three dips on this day, a devotee gets the blessings of Ganga, Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati rivers. Hence, it holds tremendous significance for devotees,” said Abhilasha Gupta Nandi, mayor, Prayagraj.