At least 7.49 crore devotees have taken the dip in the holy waters of Sangam in Prayagraj till Sunday since the beginning of the 49-day Kumbh Mela from January 15, the Uttar Pradesh government has said.
The report released on Sunday evening said that on the first day of the Kumbh Mela, which began with the first of the three Shahi Snans of Makar Sankranti, 2.25 crore people bathed in the Sangam on January 15. It was followed by 25 lakh people on January 16 and five lakh devotees every day for the next four days till January 20.
An average of five to seven lakh devotees took the dip into the cold water of the confluence of the Ganges, the Yamuna, and the mythical Saraswati every day between January 21 and 30, the report said. And on January 31, 25 lakh devotees bathed on the occasion of Ekadashi.
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This month the count again started to swell due to second Shahi Snan of Mauni Amavasya on February 4 with 35 lakh people taking the dip on Feb 1, one crore on February 2 and 1.50 crore on February 3.
The Kumbh Mela, or the “festival of the pot”, held every 12 years is the largest public gathering and collective act of faith anywhere in the world.
Hindus believe that bathing in the waters of the River Ganga absolves people of sins and bathing at the time of the Kumbh Mela brings salvation from the cycle of life and death.