- Smriti Irani took a holy dip in the Ganges as Kumbh Mela began today
- She was among lakhs of pilgrims who gathered at the sacred Sangam today
- She tweeted a picture of her holy dip, with the caption "Har Har Gange"
Union minister Smriti Irani took a holy dip in the river Ganges as Kumbh Mela began today with a Shahi Snan at Prayagraj in Uttar Pradesh. Smriti Irani also tweeted a picture of her holy dip, with the caption "Har Har Gange".
She was among lakhs of pilgrims who gathered at the crack of dawn at the sacred Sangam for a ritual dip in the sacred rivers marking the beginning of the Kumbh Mela. The Sangam is the confluence of the Ganga, Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati rivers in Prayagraj.
The Sangam is considered especially holy and Hindus believe bathing there during the Kumbh helps cleanse sins and brings salvation. Seas of pilgrims have set up camps or akhadas on the river banks.
Makar Sankranti, which marks the beginning of the festival, is one of the sacred bathing days of the event.
Each year, devotees brave the cold weather to take a dip in the icy water as early as 4 in the morning.
About 12 crore people are expected to visit the Kumbh between now and Maha Shivratri on March 4, when the Mela will come to a close, for a holy dip at the Sangam.
It was traditionally called ''Ardh Kumbh'' as it takes place twice in 12 years, but the present Uttar Pradesh government recently renamed it ''Kumbh''.