Prayagraj: The Kumbh Mela, one of the largest religious gatherings in the world, which began on January 15 will conclude on Monday with the last holy dip at Sangam on the occasion of Maha Shivratri. Scores of devotees will be seen taking a last dip at the Sangam. Reports claimed that over 22 crore devotees took a holy bath at the Kumbh Mela this year.

Meanwhile, multi-layer security arrangements have been made by the administration for the last bathing ritual of the Kumbh.

Gunjan Varshney, president of Ram Naam Bank situated at Civil Lines in Prayagraj said that it’s a rare coincidence that March 4 is the last day of the Kumbh and it also happens to be Maha Shivratri. “The Sangam area will remain more crowded than previous years since it is the last bathing day,” he said.

In the Kumbh held in Prayagraj, there were six bathing dates. “Of these, shahi snaans were held on occasions of Makar Sankranti (January 15), Mauni Amawasya (February 4) and Basant Panchami (February 10). Also, parv snaans have been held on the occasion of Paush Poornima and Maghi Poornima respectively.

There are almost 55 auspicious days to bathe at the Sangam and the Kumbh draws lakhs of pilgrims to holy event.

Importance of Maha Shivratri

On this day, devotees of Lord Shiva observe the special Maha Shivratri fast. Devotees throng Shiva temples across the country, perform late evening puja and offer milk to the Shivaling. Many spend the night chanting verses and hymns in praise of Lord Shiva. Women also pray to be blessed with a good husband and a happy married life. Some temples even organise fairs and other cultural programmes on this day.

Maha Shivratri, this year, marks the end of Kumbh Mela which is celebrated after every 12 years.