New Delhi/Prayagraj: Kinnar Akhara, a group of transgender saints pursuing religious activities has emerged as a very significant feature at the ongoing Prayagraj Kumbh.

Acharya Mahamandaleshwar Lakshmi Narayanan Tripathi has said that transgenders were badly exploited in the society and even their parents were forced to live a disgraceful life. He said transgenders have been part of Sanatan Dharm and they have been given respectful status in the religious epics and books of Hindu mythology.

Watch: Over 100 million gather for Kumbh Mela 2019 in Prayagraj

He said that Akhara has provided a forum to the transgender community to pursue a dignified life with religious rituals. Juna Akhara, a traditional powerful Akhara of Sanyasi saints and seers has given the recognition to Kinnar Akhara and has allowed it to be a part of Shahi Snan procession.

Expressing gratitude towards Acharya Mahamandaleshwar of Juna Akhara, Swami Awadeshanand ji Maharaj and Mahamandaleshwar Hari Giri ji, Maharaj Kinnar Akhara chief said that Akhara is felt honoured with the decision.

Also read: First Dalit head of Juna Akhara calls for ‘ghar wapsi’ of converted Hindus

Kinnar Akhara has set up a huge camp in Sector 12 at Prayagraj Kumbh and it attracts hundreds of thousands devotees on a daily basis. The visitors seek blessings from the Akhara members. Akhara’s camp will continue till Mahashivaratri contrary to traditional Akharas who leave the Mela after taking third Shahi Snan on the auspicious occasion of Basant Panchami. Akhara chief Lakshmi Narayanan Tripathi has announced setting up of an ashram in Prayagraj.

Next bathing festival of Mauni Amavasya on February 4

Meanwhile, the next bathing festival of Mauni Amavasya will be celebrated on February 4. It is most important bathing festival of Prayagraj Kumbh. Akharas will also take their second Shahi Snan on the occasion.

KP Singh, DIG Kumbh Mela, has said that spotters have been deployed in the Mela area to act against anti social elements and criminals.

It may be recalled that one-month long bathing festival from Paush Purnima to Maghi Purnima Kalpvas is in progress while the second bathing festival of Paush Purnima of Prayagraj Kumbh concluded peacefully recently. It was celebrated with religious fervour and enthusiasm. One crore 7 lakhs devotees took holy dip on this occasion. Newly developed Kinnar Akhara also took holy bath.

However, the devotees spend one month on the banks of Sangam in worshipping their Lords and taking holy dip in the River Ganga and Sangam during Kalpvas.