Holy dip isn't a bridge too far

Having to brave the crowds, the weather and often long distances to take a holy dip was not a bridge too far for these devotees in the Indian city of Allahabad.

They had arrived from all over the country yesterday on the occasion of Mauni Amavasya, a sacred day in the Hindu calendar associated with the Magh Mela festival.

Hundreds of thousands made their way over five pontoon bridges to reach the Triveni Sangam, which is the confluence of the three major rivers that are considered holy in India - the Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati. It is believed that bathing there will wash away one's sins.

The Magh Mela is an annual event held during the month of Magh. It usually falls between mid-January and mid-February, with some days considered auspicious for taking a dip.

The gathering is a massive exercise in planning by the authorities to ensure adequate accommodation, transportation and security.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 17, 2018, with the headline 'Holy dip isn't a bridge too far'. Print Edition | Subscribe