Ujjain: Madhya Pradesh’s holy city Ujjain has geared up for the biggest religious convergence of Hindus - Simhastha-Kumbh Mela which began on April 22nd. Over five crore devotees are expected to visit the holy city.
The Simhastha - one of the biggest Hindus faithful gatherings commenced with shahi snaan in Shipra at dawn on Friday. Juna Akhara is the first venture into the river for the ’shahi snaan’ followed by seers of other Akharas.
Simhastha mela is being held here after a gap of every 12 years at Ujjain, which is also the abode of Lord Mahakaleshwar, one of the 12 Jyotirlings in the country.
All the 13 Akharas of saints and seers will take dip one after another along the banks of Shipra River.
Congress General Secretary Digvijay Singh also took bath at Gaughat on the opening day of the Simhastha.
At present, 25,000 security personnel have been deployed from central forces during the royal bath in Shipra River.
Kumbh Mela is a mass Hindu pilgrimage of faith in which Hindus gather to bathe in a sacred river. The Kumbh Mela is held once in 12 years. According to medieval Hindu mythology, Lord Vishnu dropped drops of Amrita at four places, while transporting it in a kumbh. These four places are identified as the present-day sites of the Simhastha-Kumbh Mela.
The festival is one of the largest peaceful gatherings in the world, and considered as the world's largest congregation of religious pilgrims.