Devotees take holy deep in Ganges on Basant Panchami in Haridwar

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Haridwar, Jan 20 (ANI): Braving the early morning winter chill, devouts took a holy dip in River Ganges at Haridwar on the occasion of Basant Panchami as part of the Kumbh Mela festival on Wednesday.

According to the mela calendar, Basant Pachami is the third important snan (bathing day). There are all together seven important snans.

Devotees gathered near the banks of Ganges before dawn and began bathing as soon as the sun rose.

"Today is Basant Panchami and the birthday celebration of Goddess Saraswati and today's bath has its own special importance," said Ashutosh, a devotee.

"We are here to take the holy bath on the occasion of Basant Panchami and it is an important day. The bath in Haridwar has been going on since Makar Sakranti and we have come from far just to be here," said Sanjay Pandey, another devotee.

There is a belief that Haridwar is one of four spots where Garuda, the winged steed of Hindu god Vishnu, is said to have rested during a battle with demons over a pitcher of the divine nectar of immortality.

Garuda's flight lasted 12 divine days, or 12 years of mortal time, hence the celebration of "Kumbh Mela" every 12 years. (ANI)

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