Mela administration as well as various Akharas are gearing up for the first 'shahi snaan' of the ongoing Mahakumbh mela to be held on the occasion of Mahashivratri on February 12 in Haridwar.
Timing of the bath during which only sadhus and saints belonging to various Akharas can take the bath have been fixed from 11 am to 5 pm, officials said.
The timing for other pilgrims would be either before 10 am or after 5 pm.
The 'shahi snaan' would begin at 11 am with the arrival of Joona Akhara, largest group of Naga Sadhus, at Har-ki-Pauri and end with Anand Akhara, they said, adding there would be a gap of one hour between the baths of two Akharas.
Kumbh Mela Superintendent of Police Ajay Joshi in Uttaranchal said administration has made elaborate arrangements for the day and security personnel belonging to Rapid Action Force, ITBP, state police, PAC and bomb disposal squads, water police and home guards have been deployed on Har-Ki-Pauri. No vehicles would be allowed to ply on the roads within the urban limit of Haridwar on the day, Joshi said.
Meanwhile, Akhil Bhartiya Akhara Parishad has decided to include Chaitra Purnima as the day of 'shahi snaan', taking the number of total such baths during Mahakumbh to 4. In its meeting, presided over by Parishad President Mahant Gyan Das, it was decided that various Akharas would also take bath on the day of Chaitra Purnima on March 30. Earlier, Mahashivratri (Feb 12), Somvati Amavasya (Mar 15), Mesh Sankranti (Apr 14) were declared as days of 'Shahi Snaans'.