'Somvati Amavasya' begins in Haridwar on no moon day

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Haridwar, Mar 15 (ANI): Thousands of devotees and holy men converged in Haridwar on Monday to take a holy dip in the river Ganges on the occasion of "Somvati Amavasya', a no moon day as per the traditional Hindu calendar.

During the ongoing Maha Kumbh fete for the Hindus, the occasion of the second 'Shahi Snan' is considered a highly auspicious day.

"Taking a bath here means having something pure. Those who have it, attain salvation. That is why scores of people come here to take holy dip in River Ganga, so that they feel triumphant," said Swami Dhruvanand Saraswati, a sage.

"I feel so happy and content after taking a dip here that I never miss to observe this day," he added.

Married women take the dip for a happy married life and for the long life of their husbands. They also worship the pipal tree (a sacred tree) on the day. They also perform different rituals and undertake 'Somavara Amavasya Vrat' (fasting).

"I have come here to take bath and this day of 'Somvati Amavasya' has come after a long gap of 760 years. It's a blessing to take bath here. Scores of people have come here to take bath," said Varun, a pilgrim from New Delhi.

"I felt nice after taking the bath here and attain the blessings of Ganga," he added.

Bhisma in the holy epic Mahabharata narrated the Significance of Somvati Amavas to Yudhishtra.

It is said that whoever takes a bath in the sacred rivers on the day would be prosperous, free of diseases and would be free from grief and sorrow.

There is also a popular belief the soul of ancestors will rest in peace if children and relatives take a holy dip in the sacred rivers.

Meanwhile, security has been beefed up in and around the area to avoid any untoward incident. (ANI)

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