10 lakh take dip in Ganga on Amavasya
More than 10 lakh devotees took a dip in the chilling holy waters of the Ganga on the occasion of Somwati Amavasya in the Ardh Kumbh amid unprecedented security arrangements after terror threat here today.The arrest of four suspected youths from Roorkee having links with the Islamic State has led to the tight security arrangements.Lakhs of pilgrims had started reaching Haridwar since last evening. They started taking a dip in the Ganga at Brahma Kund at Har-ki-Pauri even before dawn.
According to the mela administration, more than 10 lakh people had a bath in the Braham Kund, Har-ki-Pauri and another ghats till afternoon and the number of pilgrims was going to rise till evening when the ‘mahurat’ for the holy dip will end.Pilgrims had thronged Har-ki-Pauri, the core mela zone, and other Ganga ghats since last night as all roads remained jampacked. There was heavy deployment of paramilitary and police personnel with commandoes at all busy points. The pilgrims had to undergo frisking and metal detector tests before entering the mela zone.Despite cold weather conditions following rain on Sunday, the rush of pilgrims was considered the highest since the Ardh Kumbh mela started on January 14.
GS Martoliya, Inspector General, claimed that more than 10 lakh pilgrims had taken bath till afternoon starting from early morning.“Parking lots near Har-ki-Pauri were used and we didn’t have to divert vehicles to other parking lots. We have made sure that pilgrims don’t face inconvenience in treading longer route to reach Har-ki-Pauri and also NH traffic goes on smoothly,” said Sheweta Chaubey, SP, Traffic.
Ganga Sabha president Purushottam Sharma Gandhivadi and secretary Ram Kumar Mishra congratulated the Ardh Kumbh mela administration for smooth conduct of the Somwati Amavasya bath.Shrines of Mata Mansa Devi, Mata Chandi Devi, Shri Daksheshwar Mahadev, Bilkeshwar, Maya Devi, Shri Dakshi Kali Peeth, Mata Vaishno Devi, Shri Tulsi Manas and other temples based at the Saptsarovar-Bhoopatwala area witnessed a rush of devotees.