Shahi Snan at Kumbh Mela 2025

Your detailed guide to Shahi Snan at Maha Kumbh Mela!

Makar Sankranti

14th January 2025

Mauni Amavasya

29th January 2025

Basant Panchami

3rd February 2025
Multilingual Guides
Map & Checkpoints

Discover the grandeur, cultural heritage, and spiritual significance of the Shahi Snan of Maha Kumbh Mela in Prayagraj, a unique spectacle of faith, and humanity.

I. Introduction: The Grandeur of the Maha Kumbh Mela

The Historical Background of Maha Kumbh Mela

The Maha Kumbh Mela is steeped in mythological and historical significance. As per Hindu mythology, the Kumbh Mela originated from the divine ‘Samudra Manthan’ or churning of the ocean, where the gods and demons fought for a pot (Kumbh) of the nectar of immortality (Amrit). As Lord Vishnu flew away with the pot, a few drops of the nectar fell in four places on earth, which are now known as Haridwar, Prayagraj, Ujjain, and Nashik – the sites of the Kumbh Mela.

Each location’s mela is based on the position of Jupiter (Brihaspati) and the sun, and the zodiac sign in which Jupiter resides at the time. The Maha Kumbh Mela, held every 12 years in Prayagraj, is the largest and considered the most auspicious one.

Significance of Prayagraj in Maha Kumbh Mela

Prayagraj, previously known as Allahabad, holds a special place in Hinduism. Its significance stems from its geographical and spiritual attributes. The city is situated at the confluence (Triveni Sangam) of three sacred rivers – the Ganges, Yamuna, and the invisible or mythical Saraswati. This confluence is believed to be a portal to heaven and hence considered extremely auspicious.

The Maha Kumbh Mela at Prayagraj attracts millions of devotees from across the globe who come to bathe in the holy waters during the auspicious bathing dates. They believe that a dip in the sacred waters during the Kumbh Mela absolves them of their sins and helps them attain salvation. The Shahi Snan or Royal Bathing day is the most significant event of the Maha Kumbh Mela.

II. Shahi Snan of Maha Kumbh Mela in Prayagraj

The Meaning of Shahi Snan

In the context of the Maha Kumbh Mela, “Shahi Snan” refers to the “royal bath. It signifies the ritualistic bathing of the holy men and the devotees in the sacred waters of the river. The Shahi Snan holds immense significance as it is believed to cleanse one’s soul of all past sins and pave the way towards Moksha or liberation from the cycle of birth and death.

It is called a ‘royal’ bath because, on this day, the procession of the holy men belonging to various Akharas (religious orders) to the bathing ghats is no less than a royal parade. It’s a spectacle filled with grandeur and fervor, with the air resounding with chants and the sight of resplendent palanquins, flower-decked chariots, and musical bands.

Understanding the Ritual of Shahi Snan

The Shahi Snan ritual begins with the Naga Sadhus of the various Akharas taking the holy dip in the sacred river. These Sadhus, or holy men, are ascetics who have renounced all worldly possessions and live in the Himalayas. The Shahi Snan is marked by these Naga Sadhus’ grand processions, their bodies smeared in ashes, wearing only Rudraksha beads, and carrying Trishuls (tridents).

Each Akhara is allocated a specific time for bathing, the order of which is decided by their standing and reputation. The procession to the bathing site is an extravagant affair with the Sadhus seated on elephants, horses, and chariots, while devotional songs, hymns, and conch shell sounds create a divine atmosphere.

The Timing and Astrological Importance of Shahi Snan

The timing of the Shahi Snan, or Royal Bath, is determined according to astrological calculations. The dates are considered to be astrologically significant and thus hold immense spiritual value. The belief is that bathing in the holy river at this time will not only cleanse one’s body but also purify the soul, leading the individual closer to attaining Moksha, or liberation from the cycle of rebirth.

The main Shahi Snan (the most significant bathing day) is on Mauni Amavasya (the new moon day). The astrological configuration on this day is believed to be the most auspicious for the holy dip. Other important bathing dates include Basant Panchami, Maghi Purnima, and Maha Shivratri, each carrying its own religious and astrological significance.

Experiencing Shahi Snan: A Personal Narrative

As a first-time attendee, the sheer scale and intensity of the Maha Kumbh Mela are overwhelming. It’s not just a religious gathering; it’s a spiritual journey and a cultural extravaganza.

The air buzzes with palpable energy and anticipation as the day of the Shahi Snan dawns. A multitude of colors and sounds fill the senses as the grand processions begin. The sight of the Naga Sadhus, their bodies smeared with ash, dreadlocked hair, and intense expressions, is both awe-inspiring and humbling. The air vibrates with the resonating sound of conch shells and bells, and the air is heavy with the scent of incense.

As the first rays of the sun touch the river, illuminating the waters with a golden hue, the Naga Sadhus charge into the river with thunderous shouts of ‘Har Har Gange.’ This moment, the first dip of the Shahi Snan, is indescribable – it’s as if time stands still. It’s a moment of utter devotion, spirituality, and a testimony to the human spirit’s strength and resilience.

Witnessing the Shahi Snan is like taking a dip into India’s cultural and spiritual depths. It’s an experience that lingers in your consciousness, reminding you of the profound faith and devotion of millions and the spiritual undercurrents that run deep in this land of diversity.

III. The Cultural and Spiritual Aspects of Shahi Snan

The Role of Akharas in Shahi Snan

Akharas play a crucial role in the Shahi Snan. Akharas are religious orders of monks belonging to various sects, including Shaiva, Vaishnava, and Udasi. Each Akhara has its head, known as the ‘Mahamandaleshwar.’

During the Shahi Snan, the Akharas get the first right to bathe. They are given a designated time slot according to their standing. The Naga Akhara is usually the first to take the dip. The order in which the Akharas proceed to bathe is determined by the Akhara Parishad, the governing body of the Akharas. The processions of the Akharas to the bathing ghats are grand events, with the Naga Sadhus marching in their full glory.

Naga Sadhus: The Enigmatic Holy Men

Naga Sadhus, often regarded as the guardians of faith, are an intrinsic part of the Shahi Snan. They are recognized by their ash-covered naked bodies and long matted hair. Living in seclusion in caves and forests, they come out during the Kumbh Mela to participate in the Shahi Snan.

These Sadhus renounce all worldly ties and materialistic desires to meditate and practice severe austerity. It is their profound devotion and spirituality that lend the Shahi Snan its mystic charm. When the Naga Sadhus charge into the river for their dip, it is a sight to behold. Their strength, their commitment, and their intense faith inspire awe and reverence.

Shahi Snan: A Symbol of Cultural Unity

The Shahi Snan of the Maha Kumbh Mela transcends all barriers of caste, creed, and social status, drawing millions of pilgrims from all corners of the globe. It exemplifies the unity in diversity of Indian culture. People from different walks of life, different regions, speaking different languages, all converge at the Sangam with a singular purpose – to attain spiritual liberation.

The Shahi Snan also becomes a platform for cultural exchange and understanding. People interact, share their stories, their faiths, and their beliefs. It fosters a sense of brotherhood and community, making the Shahi Snan not just a spiritual, but also a cultural phenomenon.

The Impact of Shahi Snan on an Individual’s Spiritual Life

Experiencing the Shahi Snan can be a transformative experience. The sight of millions of devotees, their faces etched with unwavering faith, plunging into the sacred waters, believing in the power of absolution and liberation, is incredibly moving.

The Shahi Snan makes you contemplate the impermanence of life and the incessant cycle of birth and death. It nudges you towards introspection and a reevaluation of your spiritual life. For many, it becomes a turning point, a step towards a more mindful, fulfilling spiritual journey.

IV. Shahi Snan in Contemporary Times

The Logistical Challenge of Shahi Snan

Organizing the Shahi Snan at such a colossal scale is a formidable task. It involves meticulous planning and coordination by the local authorities, security personnel, volunteers, and the Akhara Parishad. From regulating the crowds to managing the facilities, sanitation, and safety, it’s a herculean effort.

However, despite the challenges, the authorities ensure the smooth conduct of the Shahi Snan, ensuring the safety and convenience of the millions of pilgrims.

Shahi Snan and the Environment

With millions of pilgrims congregating for the Shahi Snan, the impact on the environment, particularly the rivers, is significant. In recent years, efforts have been made to minimize this impact. Regulations are in place to prevent the disposal of waste materials into the river. Campaigns are conducted to raise awareness among the devotees about maintaining the sanctity and cleanliness of the rivers.

V. In the Eyes of International Visitors

The Global Recognition of Shahi Snan

The Shahi Snan of the Maha Kumbh Mela has gained global recognition. It is not just a religious gathering anymore; it has become a spectacle of faith, a cultural extravaganza, attracting not just devotees, but also tourists, researchers, and international media. The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has inscribed the Kumbh Mela on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, further elevating its global status.

The Impact of Digital Media on Shahi Snan

In the age of digital media, the Shahi Snan has found a global audience. Live streaming of the Shahi Snan, real-time updates on social media platforms, blogs, vlogs, and online news portals have brought the grandeur of the Shahi Snan to people’s homes worldwide. It has made the Kumbh Mela experience accessible to those who cannot attend it in person.

VI. Conclusion: The Shahi Snan – A Testament to Faith and Spirituality

The Shahi Snan of the Maha Kumbh Mela is a testament to unwavering faith and profound spirituality. It’s a spectacle that encapsulates the cultural richness, the religious fervor, and the spiritual depth of India. It’s an experience that stays with you, a memory that keeps pulling you back to the sacred waters of the Sangam.


The following are the four crucial dates for Kumbh Mela 2025:

  • Paush Purnima on 13th January 2025 (Festival starting date)
  • Makar Sankranti on 14th January 2025
  • Mauni Amavasya on 29th January 2025
  • Basant Panchmi on 3rd February 2025
  • Maghi Purnima on 12 February 2025
  • Maha Shivratri on 26 February 2025. (Festival ending date)

The teachings of the Holy Scriptures and the ancient Vedic scriptures are preached by monks, saints, and religious academics. The recitation and conversations are referred to as Pravachan, whereas this social gathering is known as Satsang. Huge groups of pilgrims gather in tents while the saints read important parts from the holy books.

They describe the significance of these legends in Hinduism, their meanings, and how one can use their lessons to live a serene life. Hindu mythology is written throughout major works like the Mahabharata and Ramayana, as well as in the Vedas and Bhagavata Purana. These lessons provide profound information.

You can attend those just by yourself as you go exploring the Mela, you’ll find many people gathered under a tent and a sage speaking on a stage.

Street vendors that put up kiosks at the Kumbh Mela prepare to revitalise drinks, candies, and delicacies. Tourists indulge in native cuisines at the eateries to sate their appetites. However, a celebration meal known as Mahaprasada serves the auspicious foods of the rituals.

The wonderfully delicious prasad, which is cooked with milk and dried fruits and is typically a sweet like halwa and laddoo, is thought to be the god’s blessing. Volunteers from the group offer to work together to make the prasad and give it to every pilgrim who is there.

Additionally, a community feast is planned for the priests and the hungry and destitute travellers. It is known as Langar. The food at Langar is prepared and served by volunteers and paid for by donations from different families and communities. All recipes are entirely vegetarian and without any meat because people disapprove of any kind of animal abuse.

For individuals who want to closely study the practises of Sadhus, or orthodox religious devotees, the Kumbh Mela is an incredible opportunity. The Sanskrit word for “seeing” is darshan. The interaction between the Sadhus and the general populace is what it is.

These sadhus, who follow several Hindu deities, travel continuously for days and are distinguished members of various akharas, or religious sects. They do snan by the river after arriving at Kumbh Mela and subsequently, stay in their tents. Sadhus live a simple lifestyle. They live their lives in the service of their All-Powerful and are devoid of materialistic aspirations. Because of this, the pilgrims are very interested in talking to these gurus to get spiritual advice and understanding.

Darshan, or private conversations with these devoted followers, is an unforgettable experience. The sessions are closely watched by the authorities to make sure that nothing happens that could make the sadhus angry or hurt their religious feelings.

The pilgrims proceed to the temples, where the priests conduct the yajnas after taking a dip in the holy river. Crowds swarm the stage when Brahmins or priests kindle a sacred fire. The priests begin mouthing Sanskrit mantras to worship and ask for the blessings of the All-Powerful after making offerings to Agni, the holy god of fire. The gods and their followers are supposed to be connected spiritually through yajnas.

Kirtans are another type of spiritual recitation. Priests perform musical rituals and chant hymns of adoration that tell the folklore and traditions associated with their gods. While playing classical instruments like the harmonium, veena, sitar (a string instrument), tablas (single drums), flute, and cymbals, musicians sing along with the audience.

The government created a large number of plans to make the Kumbh Mela easier for the international pilgrims. The majority of people struggle to locate the right route to get to their destination because this fair is spread out over a large area of about 40 kilometres. The government creates a tonne of display boards and signage to mark the right path, making the visit simpler. However, we are going to provide you with some tips that can help you find things more quickly in the mela grounds.

Always keeping in mind the number marking of pantoon bridges is the best approach to choosing the optimal path. The fair administration constructed numerous temporary bridges so that visitors could easily cross the river and go to the mela area. It is best to remember the number marking of the pantoon bridge to your destination because there are many of them and they all look the same.

Gather the Mela ground map which will be made available on this website as well on the official kumbh mela website, which you can readily receive from any assistance desk, to find the locations of the akharas and camps.

Keep in mind the stall or shop number where you shop or have a meal. As a result, you may easily return to these stores.

Write down the phone numbers of any contact centres you find with a large number of cops available to assist you at any time during the event.

The hospitality industry is fully prepared to entertain the tourists and pilgrims by giving them top-notch luxury accommodations during their stay, so the Kumbh Mela 2025 exceeded the expectations of devotees. Many hospitality-related businesses with experience organising the Kumbh Mela in the year 2025 intend to build a temporary tent city along the Ganges River. 

View our Accommodation options here

The bus stop and the auspicious Sangam ghat are both nearby this tent city. To give visitors a special and comfortable stay, the hotel will upgrade the facilities. There are many comforts in the tents, such as Western toilets, a music system, a tea and coffee maker, newspapers, and mosquito repellent.

These facilities are intended to be part of the campus, which includes a parking, dining halls, lounges, meditation halls, and gardens. Additionally, they add some new flavours to their offerings, such as private boats for the Triveni Sangam, butler services, and doctors on call.

Many artists, artisans, and book dealers are travelling from all around India to attend this significant spiritual festival. This gathering features a large collection of spiritual literature, calendars, relics, and sermons by saints and priests. You can purchase holy tunes and videos on audio and video cassettes in a variety of languages. Kids’ toys made of plastic and natural materials are readily accessible.

You can purchase items like bracelets, lockets, bangles, and colourful ribbons here. Traditional clothing, some of which have been carefully adorned with images of deities.

The Kumbh Mela 2025 is scheduled to take place in Prayagraj, which is in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. From the major Indian cities, Prayagraj is well connected by air, road, and rail. To get to Prayagraj City, where taxis are available for hire, travellers can take direct flights or trains. To get to Triveni Sangam Ghat or the Mela ground, use local transportation or buses run by the government.


Prayagraj can be reached in two hours by car from Varanasi, which is the second closest city and has direct access to all major railway stations, roads, and an international airport. Just 120 km separate Varanasi from Prayagraj by road.

The Kumbh Mela is the type of event that is difficult to express in words. This is a festival with many attractions, significant occasions, rites, and spiritual ascents to god. But when we discuss the main draws of this fire, we focus on a few key points.

Naga Sadhu: The foundation of this event is the Naga Sadhu. Nagas are difficult to locate in India because they mostly lived in the Himalayas or locations with thick forests. They perform live at this fair among the general public as the event’s star attraction. The best draw for pilgrims and tourists from all over the world is always the naked body covered in ash, the long hairstyles, and the technique of armouring.

Bathing at Triveni Sangam: This major event’s focal point is Triveni Sangam, where devotees take a sacred bath in the meeting place of three rivers.

Kinnar Akhara“: This women’s Akhara was held for the first time at the preceding 2019 Kumbh Mela in Prayagraj. For the first time, women were treated with the same respect and took part in the event alongside their supporters during a male-dominated event. 

It is an uncommon experience for pilgrims and devotees to interact with the lady priest and saints for the first time. The same thing will occur in 2025 at the next Kumbh Mela when they arrive in large groups and pilgrims ask for their blessings.