The Akhil Bhartiya Akhada Parishad president Mahant Narendra Giri said that “officially though Mahakumbh begins from January 1 and will conclude on April 28, but as the Shahi Snan falls on March 11, April 12 and April 14, we are deeming Mahakumbh to actually begin from Maha Shivaratri”.
“For normal pilgrims and devotees, Mahakumbh begins from January 1 onwards with the first festive bath of Mahakumbh on Makar Sankranti (January 14),” said Giri.
The second Shahi Snan falls on the occasion of Somvati Amavasya (April 12) and the third on Baisakhi Mesh Poornima on April 14. The last festive bath will be on April 27 on the occasion of Chaitra Poornima.
The religious fair associates all the Shankaracharyas, Akhadas, Mahamandaleshwar, pontiffs, saints and pilgrims come from across the country and globe to take a holy dip in the river Ganga.
Bathing in these holy rivers is a means to prayascitta (atonement, penance) for past mistakes that purifies the soul. Also, it is said that the person gets rid of the disease suffering from a long period.