Largest human gathering on Earth today
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Barely 100 metres from the "night shelter" is the camp of Mahanirvani akhara, which will take lead the shahi snan (royal bath).
Talking about the preparations, secretary of Mahanirvani akhara, Swami Ravindra Puri, says: "The tradition never changes. There will be four horses, one of which will be without any rider, as it is believed that our isht devta (resident deity) would be astride it. The Mahamandaleshwars will be seated on their silver thrones, mounted on tractors. There would be no elephants. During the times of kings, the saints used to be taken to the Sangam in royal splendour. This is now ensured by the akharas themselves."
He adds, "It is believed that when the Sun enters Capricorn and Jupiter enters Taurus zodiac, all the 33 crore gods and goddesses are present at Sangam — which happens every 12 years — to bless the saints and the devotees."
The administration, in consultation with the 13 akharas, has given 40 minutes time to each akhara.
Mahanirvani, followed by Atal akhara, would be the first two to bathe at Sangam. The first bath would be taken at 5.15 am.
District Magistrate (Kumbh) Mani Prasad Mishra said that the bathing of the akharas was likely to continue till 5 pm. "There would be a 15-minute break between one procession leaving and another coming. The interval will be used for cleaning and maintenance purposes," he said.
So far, only Sectors 4 and 5, housing the akharas, have actually become populated. A large number of camps in other sectors are yet to come up. The administration says that the entire Mela area would bear a settled look by January 27, when the Magh Mela begins.
To ensure incident-free bathing of the akharas, the administration would be providing a team headed by a magistrate-level officer and a circle officer, besides a team of all the civic agencies, with all the akhara processions.
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