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Date: 16 January 2019

Over One Crore Seers and Pilgrims take holy dip on the First day of Kumbh and Other News

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Click on the links below for details

Over One Crore Seers and Pilgrims take holy dip on the First day of Kumbh

Doon-Pantnagar flight to start on 17 January 2019

Pilgrims take holy dip as Uttarayani Starts

Kumbh Begins on Tuesday, 15 January 2019 with first Shahi Snan at Daybreak

Week Long Magh Mela Kicks off in Uttarkashi

Over One Crore Seers and Pilgrims take holy dip on the First day of Kumbh

Uttarakhand News


Over 1.25 crore seers and pilgrims led by ash smeared Naga seers took the ritualistic dip in the icy cold waters of Sangam – The confluence of Yamunotri, Ganga and mythological Saraswati- on Tuesday, 15 January 2019, indicating the beginning of 49 day Kumbh Mela.

Mela authorities claimed that over 10 crore devotees would be taking the holy dip during the next 48 days at Kumbh. A huge mass of curious onlookers and devotees lined both sides of the Akhara corridor as thousands of sadhus associated with the 13 akharas, including a grand procession of the mystic Naga sadhus, ran towards the Sangam brandishing their traditional weapons for the first 'shani snan' of Kumbh on the auspicious occasion of Makar Sankranti.

Members of Kinnar Akahara, who took their first ever ritualistic dip in the Ganga at Kumbh along with members of Juna Akhara, were the main attraction for devotees as well as hundreds of foreigners, who patiently waited for their rituals to end.

Hundreds of security staff was seen issuing orders and running from one sector to another to ensure the safety of devotees taking holy dip at the ghats. Police also checked devotees from entering into Akhara corridor for easy passage to sangam and avoided any clash with the sadhus.

However, a rush was averted by a group of policemen who stopped a crowd of devotees making an attempt to enter the Akhara enclosure by breaking the double barricading. Security Personnel, including paramilitary forces, stopped the devotees from entering the reserve enclosure and also saved lives of four women, who fell on ground n rush.

The policemen cleared the reserved enclosure and repaired the broken barricading promptly to prevent the crowd from entering the enclosure. Vijay Kiran Anand, Mela officer, Kumbh, Prayagraj said that over 1.16 crore devotees took the holy dip. DIG, K P Singh said the biggest challenge was to control the surging crowds.

No major untoward incident, barring a few tense moments at some entry and exit points were witnessed. Organizers have set up over 1 lakh toilets a central hospital along with 11 sector hospitals, 22 pontoon bridges, 95 parking lots on mela campus.

Similarly, 137 watch towers, 20 hi-tech lost and found camps and over 1,170 signage have also being put up. UPSRTC had deployed 500 shuttle buses to ferry people from the city and other places. SP Purnendu Singh said devotees started taking holy dip since Monday midnight. The rush continued till Tuesday evening.

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Doon-Pantnagar flight to start on 17 January 2019

Uttarakhand News


Two weeks after flight operations between Pantnagar and Dehradun began, the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has now given approval for the Dehradun-Pithoragarh-Pantnagar route. The services will begin on January 17. Pantnagar airport director SK Singh said the flight tickets will be priced between Rs 1,410 and Rs 1,570.

He said that the flight services will be provided by the aviation firm Air Heritage. The flight is scheduled to operate on weekdays. The company will be using a 20-seater plane.

He added that the flight will depart from Dehradun at 9.30 am and reach Pithoragarh at 10.20 am. And from Pithoragarh, the flight will take off at 10.40 am and reach Pantnagar at 11.10 am. While returning, the flight will take off from Pantnagar at 11.30am, making a stop-over at Pithoragarh at 12pm, and finally reaching Dehradun at 1.30 pm.



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Pilgrims take holy dip as Uttarayani Starts

Uttarakhand News


Hundreds of pilgrims overcome the cold to gather at the confluence of Saryu-Gomti in Bageshwar for a holy dip on Makar Sankranti on Tuesday. Apart from the snan, many cultural festivities were organized in the district for Uttarayani mela which kicked off on Monday. Several stalls were set up on the banks of Saryu River.

The Uttarayani festival has a tradition of political rallies and on Monday as well top leaders of various parties gathered to the venue. Union minister of state for textiles Ajay Tamta, who inaugurated the fair along with finance minister Prakash Pant said, "The work that the BJP has done for the country will translate into votes in the forthcoming elections". But congress leader Rajendra Singh Rawat said that the promises of zero tolerance of the BJP are nonsense. This is the most corrupt and false government. The public knows what to do in the upcoming elections, he added.

Meanwhile some political and social organizations took the 98th anniversary of the Coolie Begar movement to protest against the Uttarakhand Housing and Urban Development Authority over lifting curbs on purchase of land in the hills. Under the 'Coolie Begar' law, locals were required to provide free transportation for luggage of travelling British officials. In 1921 agitators who had torn the registers which maintained names of those who had to act as coolies and threw them in to the Saryu River.



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Kumbh Begins on Tuesday, 15 January 2019 with first Shahi Snan at Daybreak

Uttarakhand News


Allahabad is dressed up and decked for Kumbh 2019. Throughout Monday, 14 January 2019, lakhs of pilgrims walked on 22 pontoon bridges to reach the Sangam for the first "Shahi Snan" on Makar Sankranti. Sadhus of 13 Akharas take the holy dip early morning on Tuesday, 15 January 2019.

The Prayagaraj mela Authority expects over 12 million pilgrims to bathe at the confluence of Ganga, Yamuna and the Vanished Saraswati through the day. For the devout, a bath at Sangam during the seven week event cleanses their body and soul, frees them from the unending cycle of life and death.

The Yogi Adityanath govt, which has been keen to project Kumbh, was prompt into action on Monday, 14 January 2019 when a fire broke out in the tent of Digambar Ani Akhara at Sector 16. Six tents and some property were destroyed. Two vehicles were damaged. Nobody was hurt.

SP Ashutosh Mishra said that as per initial investigations, LPG leakage during meal preparation triggered the fire. This results in cylinder explosion. 3 fire tenders were immediately rushed to the spot and the fire was controlled. 4 saints trapped inside tent were rescued.

According to the state government, over 150 million people, more than Russia's populations are expected to be part of the government's "Divya Kumbh, Bhavya Kumbh" spread over 3,200 hectares which culminated on Mahashivratri day. Geographically, the mela area is bigger than 4 countries: Monaco, Tuvalu, Vatican City and Nauru. Thousands of colorful tents have brought both beauty and symmetry to the Mela ground.

Sadhus marched towards corrugated tents setting up temporary ashrams on Monday, posing for photographs, blessing devotees and chanting hymns and Vedic mantras. Stalls with wares ranging from a pocket scent of Kasturi deer to pooja items, including rudraksh, rare flowers and shivlings have come up on the cold Ganga bed.

A naga sadhu who went by the name of Kotwal Akhand Saraswati and was attached to Juna Akhara said "we are excited about taking the first dip in the Sangam. It is the hour we had been waiting for."

Mahant Dayanand Puri, Ashtkaushal Mahant of Juna Akhara said that there is a limited time in which lakhs of sadhus have to take the holy dip along with each presiding deity and symbol of the akhara. Our Gods, including Dattatreya, Ganesh, Gayatri and Surya will be taken in a palanquin to the Sangam in a procession, including Nagas, seers in loin cloth and those in unstitched cloth to those in highest form of tapasya.



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Week Long Magh Mela Kicks off in Uttarkashi

Uttarakhand News


The annual week long magh mela which is popularly known as “Badahat Ku Tholu” started at Ramleela Ground in Uttarkashi district headquarters on the occasion of Makar Sankranti on Monday, 14 January 2019. The festival was officially inaugurated by zila panchayat chairman Jashoda Rana.

The event now organized every year by the zila panchayat and local administration dates back to many centuries when traders from Tibet participated in the fair and exchanged goods. Devotees took a holy dip in Bhagirathi and offered prayers at Vishwanath and Bhairavnath temples.

Dev dolis were then carried to the banks of Ganga. For the opening ceremony, local artists from Sangrali, Pata, Mando, Siror and Kamar villages performed traditional Raso and Tandi dance. Jay Prakash Rana, cultural activist and president of Samvedna Samuh said that in order times, merchants from Tibet came to Uttarkashi to barter gold, salt, yak wool and other products and took grains and vegetables grown by local villagers. Villagers used to organize fairs and cultural events to entertain traders.



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