Kumbh Mela Begins in Ujjain Today

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Bhopal: Ujjain is geared up to host Kumbh Mela, the biggest religious congregation of Hindus, from Friday during which over five crore people including seers are expected to visit the holy city, with Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan saying it will be a “Green Simhastha”.

Apart from a string of conventions that are typically attached with the Kumbh, this time eunuchs have set up their ‘akhara’ in the fair area and took out a procession today.

“We have made all arrangements for holding the grand religious Simhastha mela in Ujjain from tomorrow. During the month-long fair, a three-day international philosophic convention will be held which will be inaugurated by RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat on May 12 and Prime Minister Narendra Modi will chair the concluding function on May 14,” Chouhan told reporters here.

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He said on the basis of deliberations of the convention, a declaration would be released on issues confronting the world like global warming, environment and pollution, value-based life, science and spiritualism, welfare of human being through religion, organic farming, cleanliness and women empowerment.

“In other words, it will be a Green Simhastha,” the CM said. Replying to a query, he said during the ‘Shahi Snan’ (royal bath) in Kshipra river, no VVIP or VIP would visit Ujjain so that the event could be held without any disturbance. While the first ‘Shahi Snan’ is slated for tomorrow, another is scheduled on May 21.

Over five crore pilgrims are expected to visit Ujjain and other holy places during the fair, for which huge security and logistical arrangements have been made, including shifting of police forces from various districts to Ujjain, one of the 12 ‘jyotirlingas’ and the abode of Lord Mahakaleshwar.

“This time eunuchs have also set up their ‘akhara’ in the mela area and today they have successfully taken out their procession in the city which was accorded grand welcome,” Chouhan said.

As per the convention, all 13 ‘akharas’ of seers took out a procession called ‘Peshwai’ in Ujjain on the eve of the main fair, he said.

Heads of state including that of Sri Lanka and Nepal, besides a large number of prominent dignitaries from various countries would take part in the mela.

“Around five crore devotees are expected to take part in the Kumbh mela on the banks of pious Shipra river for which security has been ramped up in every nook and cranny of the district,” said Inspector General of Police (IGP), Ujjain Range, Madhu Kumar.

At present, 22,000 security personnel, including the state policemen, personnel from central forces and other departments have been deployed, he said.

“At the time of Shahi Snan (royal dip) in Shipra river, 25,000 security personnel will keep a watch at the Mela venue,” Kumar added.