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Simhasta Kumbh ends after last Shahi Snan

 2016-05-22 06:41:12.0

Ujjain: Ascetics during Simhastha Kumbh Mela, the largest congregation of Hindus in Ujjain on April 22, 2016. (Photo: IANS)

Tahlka news Bureau

Ujjain:�Simhasta Kumbh festival ended on Saturday with the third and last �shahi snan� (royal bath) by ascetics, saints and seers of various �akharas� that had gathered here on the banks of the holy Kshipra river.

The end of the bathing ritual on Saturday will conclude the religious festival which had started on April 22.

Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan claimed that more than one crore devotees participated in the third �shahi snan�

The sacred bath started as early as 3 am with the Naga sadhus -- the Shaivite ascetics with their naked bodies smeared in ash and uncut knotted hair - leaving their encampments for the ghat of Kshipra that was allotted to them.

Their march to the bathing ghat was conducted with ostentatious ceremony, also featuring palanquins and horses.

As other Akharas took their turns for the elaborate ceremonies of going for the holy dip, the roads to Kshipra were choc-a-bloc with sadhus.

An Akhara is an order of sadhus -ascetics or renunciates -- who view themselves as defending Dharma.

Each Akhara was provided with an ambulance along with medical and paramedical staff, Chief Medical Officer NK Trivedi said.

Ujjain was also awash on Saturday in a sea of humanity availing itself of religious rewards on the last day of the Kumbh.

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