Today is the second ‘shahi snan’ on Mauni Amavasya at the ongoing Prayagraj Kumbh Mela. Elaborate security arrangements have been put in place for Royal Bathing - Shahi Snan Parv where lakhs of devotees are expected to take the holy dip. Mauni Amavasya is also known as "Maagh Maas ki amavasya." Since the Amavasya is being observed on a Monday, it holds a special significance.
According to the folklore, when the gods and the demons performed the samundra manthan (river churning) for amrit (immortality elixir), some of the amrit sprinkled over Prayagraj (Allahabad), Nashik, Haridwar and Ujjain and hence the Kumbh is observed at these places.
This year, the amavasya began on February 3 at 11.12 pm and will last till February 5, 1.12 am.
The day marks the second and the biggest Shahi Snan (royal bath) of the big event. Devotees only eat one meal a day or restrict their diet to fruit or milk. Many devotees also observe a complete silence on this day as the event name suggests. Taking bath and following rituals in one of the sacred months is considered a purifying act. After bathing, lords Vishnu and Shiva are worshipped. Devotees should worship the Peepal tree, offer water to the Sun god and also circle the Tulsi plant 108 times.
Security arrangement at Prayagraj:
More than 20,000 personnel have been deployed along with Integrated Control and Command Centre with around 1,400 CCTV cameras at the area and different places in the city. As many as 40 snan ghats have been prepared at Sangam and its radius of 8 km in view of crowd management and convenience of devotees. Twelve NDRF and SDRF teams, 37 companies of Central Para Military Armed Forces have been deployed to meet out any eventuality.