Variety

Stage set for Maha Kumbh Mela 2013

PTI Allahabad | Updated on March 12, 2018

Alakh sadhus at Sangam in Allahabad to participate in the Maha Kumbh Mela 2013. Photo: Brijesh Jaiswal

Temporary water supply pipelines being set up ahead of the Maha Kumbh Mela near Sangam, in Allahabad. Photo: Brijesh Jaiswal

A view of the tents at Sangam in Allahabad. Photo: PTI

Labourers working to build a temporary pontoon bridge across the Ganga river ahead of the Maha Kumbh Mela. Photo: Brijesh Jaiswal

The administration has put in place elaborate security arrangements to thwart any kind of terrorist activity, prevent stampedes or any other type of law and order challenge. Photo: Brijesh Jaiswal

Artists from Manipur performing dragon dance while participating in the Peshwai, a religious procession of a Akhara, for upcoming Maha Kumbh Mela at Sangam, in Allahabad. Photo: Brijesh Jaiswal

Devotees throwing rose petals on a saint during Peshwai, a religious procession of a Akhara, ahead of the Maha Kumbh Mela at Sangam, in Allahabad. Photo: Brijesh Jaiswal

Sadhus participating in the Peshwai,a religious procession, of Sri Anand Akhara at Sangam in Allahabad. Photo: Brijesh Jaiswal

Naga sadhus participating in the Peshwai, a religious procession, of Sri Anand Akhara at Sangam in Allahabad. Photo: Brijesh Jaiswal

Maha Kumbh Mela, often described as the “greatest show on earth” globally, is all set to begin here tomorrow with millions of people from across the country as well as abroad expected to attend the religious gathering.

The Mela, held every 12 years, will go on for next two months and will conclude on Maha Shivaratri on March 10.

Expecting a turnout of about 1.1 crore people to take holy dip tomorrow on Makar Sankranti, the administration has put in place elaborate security arrangements to thwart any kind of terrorist activity, prevent stampedes or any other type of law and order challenge.

The administration are expecting a nearly 10 per cent rise in pilgrims attending the mass Hindu pilgrimage this year compared to the previous Maha Kumbh held here in 2001.

Exceptionally large crowds are also expected on Mauni Amavasya (February 10, 3 crore) and Basant Panchmi (February 15, 1.9 crore).

Besides, spiritual leaders like the Dalai Lama, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Baba Ramdev and Asaram Bapu, also have planned their visits.

The huge turnout of people, visits of high-profile gurus in addition to the presence of naga sanyasis have increased the pressure on police and administration for smooth functioning of the Kumbh Mela.

A lurking fear of terrorist strike has further heightened the challenges in recent years.

“More than 7,000 personnel of central paramilitary forces, including companies of the Rapid Action Force and the National Disaster Response Force, have been pressed into service,” IGP (Allahabad) Alok Sharma, designated as the nodal officer for security arrangements during the Maha Kumbh, said.

Published on January 13, 2013

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